The Art Teacher's Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools [3 ed.] 1119600197, 9781119600190

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The Art Teacher's Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools [3 ed.]
 1119600197, 9781119600190

Table of contents :
Title Page
Copyright Page
About the Authors
About the Book
Chapter 1 Let’s Teach Art
Art Has Its Own Curriculum
Ongoing Process
Whole-Brain Development
High Expectations and Character Development
New Concepts in Art Education
TAB—Teaching Artistic Behavior
In a Studio a Student May be Working on,
TAB (Choice-Based Art Education)
Some Considerations to Make TAB Work
Inspirational Sources for Project Ideas
Some Suggestions
What Children Should Know and Be Able to Do—Grade-Level Characteristics
The Kindergarten Child
The First-Grade Child
The Second-Grade Child
The Third-Grade Child
The Fourth-Grade Child
The Fifth-Grade Child
The Sixth-Grade Student
The Seventh-Grade Student
The Eighth-Grade Student
Modifications in Art for Special-Needs Students
General Suggestions
Adaptations for Students with Social/Emotional Needs
Adaptations for Students with Developmental Disabilities
Adaptations for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Adaptations for the Visually Impaired Student
Adaptations for Students with Impaired Hearing
Adaptations for Students with Motor Impairment
Adaptations for Attention-Seeking Students
Adaptations for Lower Grade Levels
Challenging Artistically Gifted Students
Chapter 2 Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty
Art Has Its Own Curriculum
Relationships with Students
Have High Expectations
Setting Up Your Classroom
Make It Visually Amazing!
As for Your Desk
Technology in Your Art Room
Equipment Management
Student Notebooks
Storing Artwork
Maintaining Portfolios
Signing Work
Displaying Student Work Outside the Art Room
New Art Materials
Use a Seating Chart for All Grade Levels
Develop a Simple Rules Chart
Think About Including a Calming Corner
Fostering Creativity
Individualism and Problem Solving
Allow Enough Time for a Project to Develop
Never Draw on a Student’s Work
Be Fair to All Students
Quiet Thinking Time
Praise When It Is Justified
The Elements and Principles of Art
Elements and Principle of Arts, 2019, Digital Images, Co-Author Marilyn Palmer
Mnemonics—Remembering the Elements and Principles of Art
Element: Shape
Element: Texture
Element: Line
Element: Color
Element: Space
How the Illusion of Space Is Done in Art
Element: Value
Ways to Show Differences in Value
Element: Form
Principle of Design: Pattern
Principle: Balance
Principle: Emphasis
Principle: Variety
Principle: Movement
Principle: Contrast
National Coalition for Core Art Standards
Authentic Assessment
Journals or Sketchbooks, Self-Assessment
Rubric or Scoring Guide
Chapter 3 Art History
Introduction—The Big Eleven
Include Various Cultures and Time Periods in What You Teach
Bring Art History to Life
Using Art Images
Compare and Contrast
Gallery Walk
Talking About Art
A Real Museum Visit
Visual Thinking Strategies
Aesthetics Conversations
Writing with Art
Draw an Artwork from a Description
Trivia: Mix and Match
Conversations with a Drawing
Writing Poetry About Art
Diamante # 1
Diamante # 2
Free Verse
Curriculum Connections
Themes Based on Seasons of the Year
Chapter 4 Drawing
Use Your Mistakes
Personal Nature Journal
Background Information
Adaptation for Primary Students
The Art Sketchbook or Journal
Background Information
The Bestiary: Animal Drawings
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Project
Curriculum Connections
Legs, Wings, Claws, and Antennas
Background Information
Curriculum Connections
Drawing the Hand: Signing Alphabet
Background Information
Blind Contour Drawing
Modified Contour Drawing
Introduction to Pastels
Making the Small Monumental
Background Information
Alternative Projects
Social Studies Preservation Conversation
Mandala Drawings
Background Information
In Your Own Little Corner in Your Own Little Room
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
Alternative Projects
Curriculum Connection
Chapter 5 Painting
Tempera or Acrylic Paint
Personal Rainbow Color Wheel
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Projects
Curriculum Connection
Enlarge a Masterpiece
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Projects
Curriculum Connections
Winter Whites—Animals of the Far North and South
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
The Equatorial Jungle
Background Information
Alternative Project
Watercolor Introduction
Watercolor Chart
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Project
Curriculum Connection
Australian Aboriginal Originals
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
Aboriginal Dot Painting
Background Information
Curriculum Connections
“Leaf” It to Me
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
Curriculum Connection
Sunflowers and Irises
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Projects
Curriculum Connections
Fantasy or Surrealistic Art
Background Information
Curriculum Connections
Chapter 6 Mixed Media
General Guidelines for Working in Collage
Textural Materials Add Character
Landscape Collages and Poetry
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Family or Group Portrait
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Curriculum Connection
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
My Hero
Background Information
Picture the Music
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Curriculum Connection
Inch by Inch
Background Information
Me—In Action
Background Information
Alternative Project
Adaptations for Younger Students
Art Deco Design
Background Information
Alternative Project
Shiny Skin—Aluminum-Foil Bas Relief
Background Information
Still Life
Background Information
Story Quilt
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Curriculum Connections
A Walk in the Woods
Background Information
About the Walk in the Woods
After the Walk in the Woods—Back in the Classroom
Alternative Project
Chapter 7 Multicultural Art
Traditional and Non-Traditional Techniques
Aboriginal Art
Aboriginal “Dreamings”
Background Information
Alternative Project
Asian Cultures
Japanese Sumi-E—Seven Shades of Black
Background Information
The Three Perfections
Calligraphy, Poetry, and Painting
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
American Indian Art
Piasa Bird (Thunderbird)
Background Information
Curriculum Connection—Social Studies
Pueblo Roof Lines
Background Information
Alternative Project
Mexico and Central America
Day of the Dead Altar
Background Information
Papel Picado
Nichos (Memory Boxes)
Decorated Skulls
Crepe Paper Flowers
Curriculum Connection—Social Studies and Language Arts
Paper-Cuts Around the World
Paper-Cutting—Background Information
Curriculum Connections
Costa Rican Ox Cart Art
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
Woven Pouches
Background Information
Chapter 8 Ceramics
Some Considerations for Working with Clay
Distributing the Clay
Conditioning Clay
Working Consistency
Identifying the Artwork
Storing Clay Overnight or Longer
Safe Storage
Clay Throwing (Around the Room)
Working Surfaces
Tool Substitutes
Finishing / Glazing
Japanese Tea Bowl
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Native American Coiled Pottery Project
Background Information
Alternative Project
Lidded Coil Pots
Background Information
African Slab Masks
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Corner of a Room a La Sandy Skoglund
Background Information
Ceramic Mural
Background Information
Alternative Slab Building Projects
Mexican Geckos
Background Information
Ceramic Storytellers
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Chapter 9 Sculpture
As You Like It (Box Sculpture and Found Objects)
Background Information
Geometric Units
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Alternative Project
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Tiny Maquette for a Gigantic Sculpture
Background Information
Patriotic Masks
Background Information
Measure and Make It Huge!
Background Information
Oaxacan Folk Art Animals
Background Information
Adaptations for Younger Students
Everyone Is an Architect
Background Information
Scrap-Wood Assemblage
Background Information
Adaptation for Younger Students
Chapter 10 Computer Graphics and Digital Photography
Computer Graphics Art Lessons
Alphabet Soup
Background Information
Alternative Project
Kandinsky Inspired Design
Background Information
M.C. Escher Digital Compositions
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Navajo Rug or Blanket Designs
Background Information
Curriculum Connections
Picasso Faces
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Pop Art Action Word
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
African Mask Design
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Design a Poster
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Digital Photography
Advantages of Digital Photography
Suggestions for Taking Digital or Film Photos
Unusual-Angle Photograph
Background Information
Curriculum Connection
Black-and-White Emotion Portrait
Background Information
Curriculum Connections
Texture Collage Photograph
Background Information

Citation preview

The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide

for Elementary and Middle Schools

The Art Teacher’s

Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools THIRD EDITION


Copyright © 2021 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Edition History Jossey-Bass (2e, 2008; 1e, 2001) Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Published simultaneously in Canada. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate percopy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750–8400, fax (978) 646–8600, or on the Web at Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748–6011, fax (201) 748–6008, or online at permissions. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. For general information on our other products and services or for technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (800) 762–2974, outside the United States at (317) 572–3993 or fax (317) 572–4002. Wiley publishes in a variety of print and electronic formats and by print-on-demand. Some material included with standard print versions of this book may not be included in e-books or in print-on-demand. If this book refers to media such as a CD or DVD that is not included in the version you purchased, you may download this material at For more information about Wiley products, visit Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is Available: ISBN 978-1-119-60008-4 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-119-60019-0 (ePDF) ISBN 978-1119-60021-3 (epub) Cover Design: Wiley Cover Image: © flyfloor/Getty Images Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

To family members and friends, still here, or gone forever, my gratitude to all for both input and putting up with me when I’m in the midst of whatever has, at the time, interested me most —Helen Hume To my husband, John Palmer, and my daughters, Lauren Schaefer and Lindsey Vernon, for their unfailing support and encouragement with all the endeavors of my life —Marilyn Palmer


Chapter One: Let’s Teach Art.................................................................................. 1 Art Has Its Own Curriculum................................................................................................................................ 1 Ongoing Process * Whole-Brain Development * High Expectations and Character Development......................................................................................................................... 2 New Concepts in Art Education.......................................................................................................................... 2 Tab—Teaching Artistic Behavior......................................................................................................................... 3 In a Studio a Student May be Working on, art teacher Linda Sachs, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri............................................................................... 3 TAB (Choice-Based Art Education)............................................................................................................. 3 Some Considerations To Make Tab Work........................................................................................................ 5 Inspirational Sources For Project Ideas............................................................................................................. 6 Some Suggestions............................................................................................................................................ 6 What Children Should Know And Be Able To Do—Grade-Level Characteristics................................... 7 The Kindergarten Child * The First-Grade Child * The Second-Grade Child * The Third-Grade Child * The Fourth-Grade Child The Fifth-Grade Child * The Sixth-Grade Student * The Seventh-Grade Student * The Eighth-Grade Student......................................................................................................................... 21 Modifications in Art for Special-Needs Students......................................................................................... 23 General Suggestions * Adaptations for Students with Social/Emotional Needs * Adaptations for Students with Developmental Disabilities * Adaptations for  Students on the Autism Spectrum * Adaptations for the Visually Impaired Student * Adaptations for Students with Impaired Hearing * Adaptations for Students with Motor Impairment * Adaptations for Attention-Seeking Students * Adaptations for Lower Grade Levels * Challenging Artistically Gifted Students.............................................................................................................................................. 29




Safety in the Art Room........................................................................................................................................ 30 General Suggestions * Recommended Materials * Working with Clay * Care of Cutting Tools * Using Equipment...................................................... 31 Public Relations..................................................................................................................................................... 32 Parent Communications * News Releases * Technology * Facebook * School or District Website * School or District Art Exhibits * Digital Photography................................................................................................................. 33

Chapter Two: Day-To-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty........................... 35 Introduction........................................................................................................................................................... 35 Art Has Its Own Curriculum * Relationships with Students * Have High Expectations............................................................................................................................... 36 Setting up Your Classroom................................................................................................................................. 36 Make It Visually Amazing! * As for Your Desk * Technology in Your Art Room * Equipment Management * Student Notebooks * Storing Artwork * Maintaining Portfolios * Signing Work * Labels * Displaying Student Work Outside the Art Room................................................................. 39 Matting Student Artwork................................................................................................................................... 39 Personalize Purchased Mats * Things to Keep in Mind * Cutting a Mat *.................................... 40 Cleanup * Dismissal * New Art Materials * Recycling * Use a Seating Chart for All Grade Levels * Develop a Simple Rules Chart * Think About Including a Calming Corner............................................................................................. 41 Fostering Creativity.............................................................................................................................................. 42 Individualism and Problem Solving * Allow Enough Time for  a Project to Develop * Never Draw on a Student’s Work * Be Fair to All Students * Quiet Thinking Time * Praise When It Is Justified................................................... 43 Composing a Bulletin Board.............................................................................................................................. 43 Suggested Themes......................................................................................................................................... 43 The Elements and Principles of Art.................................................................................................................. 44 Elements and Principle of Arts, 2019, Digital Images, Co-Author Marilyn Palmer............................ 45 Mnemonics—Remembering the Elements and Principles of Art.............................................................. 46 Remember the Elements and Principles of Art............................................................................................. 46 Elements........................................................................................................................................................... 46 Principles.......................................................................................................................................................... 46 Element: Shape...................................................................................................................................................... 46 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 47 Element: Texture................................................................................................................................................... 47 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 47 Element: Line......................................................................................................................................................... 47 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 48 Element: Color....................................................................................................................................................... 48 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 49 Element: Space....................................................................................................................................................... 49 Definitions * How the Illusion of Space is Done in Art...................................................................... 50


Element: Value....................................................................................................................................................... 50 Definitions * Ways to Show Differences in Value................................................................................. 51 Element: Form....................................................................................................................................................... 51 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 52 Principle of Design: Pattern............................................................................................................................... 52 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 53 Principle: Balance.................................................................................................................................................. 53 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 53 Principle: Emphasis.............................................................................................................................................. 54 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 54 Principle: Variety.................................................................................................................................................... 54 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 55 Principle: Movement............................................................................................................................................ 55 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 55 Principle: Contrast................................................................................................................................................ 56 Definitions...................................................................................................................................................... 56 National Coalition for Core art Standards..................................................................................................... 57 Creating * Presenting * Responding * Connecting.............................................................................. 57 Marilyn Stewart..................................................................................................................................................... 58 Marilyn Stewart * Marilyn Stewart........................................................................................................... 60 Assessment.............................................................................................................................................................. 61 Authentic Assessment * Portfolios * Journals or Sketchbooks, Self-Assessment * Critiquing Student Work * Rubric or Scoring Guide........................................ 62

Chapter Three: Art History................................................................................... 63 Introduction—The Big Eleven............................................................................................................................ 63 Include Various Cultures and Time Periods in What You Teach...................................................... 63 Bring Art History to Life..................................................................................................................................... 64 Art Projects for Integrated Learning, Timeline # 1: 30,000 Bc–Ad 1........................................................ 66 Language Arts * Math * Science * Social Studies................................................................................. 66 Art Projects for Integrated Learning, Timeline # 2: Ad 1–1150................................................................. 68 Cultures * Language Arts * Math * Music * Social Studies............................................................... 68 Art Projects for Integrated Learning, Timeline # 3: 1150–1650................................................................ 70 Cultures * Language Arts * Math * Science * Social Studies............................................................. 70 Art Projects for Integrated Learning, Timeline # 4: 1650–1900................................................................ 72 Cultures * Language Arts * Math * Science * Social Studies............................................................. 72 Art Projects for Integrated Learning, Timeline # 5: 1900–PRESENT...................................................... 74 Language Arts * Math * Science * Social Studies................................................................................. 74 Using Art Images................................................................................................................................................... 74 Compare and Contrast * Gallery Walk * Talking About Art * Conversation Starters * Talking About Art: A Gallery Experience................................................... 76 A Real Museum Visit............................................................................................................................................ 76 Visual Thinking Strategies * Aesthetics Conversations....................................................................... 77




Writing with Art.................................................................................................................................................... 78 Draw an Artwork from a Description * Trivia: Mix and Match * Conversations with a Drawing................................................................................................................... 78 Writing Poetry about Art..................................................................................................................................... 79 Diamante # 1 * Diamante # 2 * Bio-Poem * Free Verse * Haiku * Acrostic................................... 81 Curriculum Connections.................................................................................................................................... 81 Celebrations............................................................................................................................................................ 83 Themes Based on Seasons of the Year ............................................................................................................. 84

Chapter Four: Drawing......................................................................................... 85 Introduction........................................................................................................................................................... 85 Use Your Mistakes................................................................................................................................................. 86 Personal Nature Journal...................................................................................................................................... 87 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation For Primary Students............................................................................................................. 89 The Art Sketchbook or Journal......................................................................................................................... 90 Background Information * Preparation * Process................................................................................ 91 The Bestiary: Animal Drawings......................................................................................................................... 92 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Project * Curriculum Connections............................................... 94 Legs, Wings, Claws, and Antennas.................................................................................................................... 96 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connections............................ 96 Draw What You See Rather Than What You Know...................................................................................... 97 Betty Edwards ................................................................................................................................................ 97 Drawing the Hand: Signing Alphabet.............................................................................................................. 99 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Blind Contour Drawing * Modified Contour Drawing......................................................................................................................100 Introduction to Pastels......................................................................................................................................101 Oil Pastels * Traditional Pastels...............................................................................................................101 Making the Small Monumental......................................................................................................................102 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Projects * Social Studies Preservation Conversation.............................................................................................104 Mandala Drawings..............................................................................................................................................106 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................107 In Your Own Little Corner in Your Own Little Room...............................................................................108 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation for  Younger Students * Alternative Projects * Curriculum Connection.............................................110

Chapter Five: Painting......................................................................................... 111 Tempera or Acrylic Paint...................................................................................................................................111 Personal Rainbow Color Wheel ......................................................................................................................112 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Projects * Curriculum Connection.............................................115


Enlarge a Masterpiece........................................................................................................................................115 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Projects * Curriculum Connections............................................119 Winter Whites—Animals of the Far North and South...............................................................................119 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................121 The Equatorial Jungle........................................................................................................................................121 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................123 Watercolor Introduction...................................................................................................................................123 Watercolor Chart.................................................................................................................................................124 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Project * Curriculum Connection...............................................127 Australian Aboriginal Originals......................................................................................................................128 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation For  Younger Students........................................................................................................................................129 Aboriginal Dot Painting....................................................................................................................................130 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connections..........................131 “Leaf” It To Me....................................................................................................................................................132 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation for  Younger Students * Curriculum Connection......................................................................................134 Sunflowers and Irises ........................................................................................................................................134 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Projects * Curriculum Connections * Language Arts...............................................................................................................................................137 Fantasy or Surrealistic Art................................................................................................................................137 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connections..........................139

Chapter Six: Mixed Media.................................................................................. 141 Introduction.........................................................................................................................................................141 General Guidelines for Working in Collage * Textural Materials Add Character.......................142 Landscape Collages And Poetry.......................................................................................................................143 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................144 Family or Group Portrait..................................................................................................................................145 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Curriculum Connection......................................................................................147 Castle......................................................................................................................................................................147 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................149 My Hero.................................................................................................................................................................150 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................151 Picture the Music................................................................................................................................................152 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Curriculum Connection......................................................................................154 Inch by Inch..........................................................................................................................................................155 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................156




Me—In Action.......................................................................................................................................................156 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project * Adaptations for Younger Students..........................................................................................................159 Art Deco Design..................................................................................................................................................159 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................163 Shiny Skin—Aluminum-Foil Bas Relief.........................................................................................................164 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................164 Still Life..................................................................................................................................................................165 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................166 Story Quilt............................................................................................................................................................167 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Curriculum Connections.....................................................................................169 A Walk in the Woods..........................................................................................................................................170 Background Information * Preparation * Process * About the Walk in the Woods * After the Walk in the Woods—Back in the Classroom * Alternative Project.......................................................................................................................................173

Chapter Seven: Multicultural Art....................................................................... 175 Traditional And Non-Traditional Techniques............................................................................................175 Aboriginal Art......................................................................................................................................................176 Aboriginal “Dreamings”....................................................................................................................................176 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................179 Asian Cultures .....................................................................................................................................................180 Japanese Sumi-E—Seven Shades of Black.....................................................................................................181 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................182 The Three Perfections .......................................................................................................................................185 Calligraphy, Poetry, and Painting * Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation for Younger Students..............................................................188 American Indian Art...........................................................................................................................................188 Piasa Bird (Thunderbird)..................................................................................................................................188 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection—Social Studies......................................................................................................................190 Pueblo Roof Lines...............................................................................................................................................192 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................193 Mexico and Central America............................................................................................................................194 Day of the Dead Altar........................................................................................................................................194 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Papel Picado * Nichos (Memory Boxes) * Decorated Skulls * Crepe Paper Flowers * Curriculum Connection—Social Studies and Language Arts..........................................................197 Paper-Cuts Around the World.........................................................................................................................198 Paper-Cutting—Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connections...........................................................................................................................200


Costa Rican Ox Cart Art....................................................................................................................................201 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation for  Younger Students........................................................................................................................................202 Woven Pouches....................................................................................................................................................203 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................204

Chapter Eight: Ceramics..................................................................................... 205 Some Considerations for Working with Clay..............................................................................................206 Hand-Building * Distributing the Clay * Wedging * Conditioning Clay * Working Consistency * Identifying the Artwork * Storing Clay Overnight or Longer * Safe Storage * Clay Throwing (Around the Room) * Working Surfaces * Tool Substitutes * Clean-up * Firing * Repairing * Finishing / Glazing......................................................................................................................................209 Definitions of Ceramic Terms.........................................................................................................................210 Japanese Tea Bowl...............................................................................................................................................211 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................213 Native American Coiled Pottery Project........................................................................................................214 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................217 Lidded Coil Pots..................................................................................................................................................219 Background Information * Process........................................................................................................219 African Slab Masks.............................................................................................................................................221 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................222 Corner of a Room a La Sandy Skoglund.......................................................................................................224 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................225 Ceramic Mural.....................................................................................................................................................226 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Slab Building Projects...........................................................................................................229 Mexican Geckos...................................................................................................................................................231 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................232 Ceramic Storytellers...........................................................................................................................................233 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................236

Chapter Nine: Sculpture..................................................................................... 237 As You Like It (Box Sculpture and Found Objects)....................................................................................238 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................238 Geometric Units..................................................................................................................................................240 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students * Alternative Project.................................................................................................242 Bas-Relief...............................................................................................................................................................242 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for  Younger Students........................................................................................................................................245 Tiny Maquette for a Gigantic Sculpture.......................................................................................................245 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................247




Patriotic Masks....................................................................................................................................................247 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................249 Measure and Make it Huge!.............................................................................................................................250 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................251 Oaxacan Folk Art Animals................................................................................................................................252 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptations for Younger Students..........................................................................................................255 Everyone is an Architect....................................................................................................................................255 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................256 Scrap-Wood Assemblage...................................................................................................................................258 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Adaptation for Younger Students..........260

Chapter Ten: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography.......................... 261 Computer Graphics Art Lessons.....................................................................................................................262 Alphabet Soup.....................................................................................................................................................263 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Alternative Project......................................264 Kandinsky Inspired Design..............................................................................................................................265 Background Information * Preparation * Process..............................................................................265 M.c. Escher Digital Compositions..................................................................................................................267 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection * Assessment * Rubrics................................................................................270 Navajo Rug or Blanket Designs.......................................................................................................................271 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connections..........................272 Picasso Faces.........................................................................................................................................................273 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................275 Pop Art Action Word..........................................................................................................................................275 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................277 African Mask Design..........................................................................................................................................277 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Curriculum Connection............................279 Design a Poster....................................................................................................................................................279 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Assessment * Curriculum Connection............................................................................................................................282 Photography.........................................................................................................................................................282 Digital Photography...........................................................................................................................................282 Advantages of Digital Photography........................................................................................................283 Suggestions for Taking Digital or Film Photos..........................................................................................284 Photographing People................................................................................................................................284 Unusual-Angle Photograph..............................................................................................................................285 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Assessment * Curriculum Connection............................................................................................................................286 Black-and-White Emotion Portrait................................................................................................................287 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Assessment * Curriculum Connections...........................................................................................................................288 Texture Collage Photograph............................................................................................................................289 Background Information * Preparation * Process * Assessment....................................................291

About the Authors


elen Hume is a retired art educator who has taught art at all levels, including preservice teachers at Florissant Valley Community College, and has supervised practice teachers in art for Webster University and Fontbonne University. She also taught in international schools in São José dos Campos (Brazil) and Antwerp (Belgium), where her husband’s work took them. She is an active, exhibiting member of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, and former editor of Keynotes, the Symphony’s Volunteer Association’s newsletter. She currently serves as photographer on the Picture the Music Committee of the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association. Hume is a plein-air oil painter and teaches painting in a sheltered workshop for adults. She has been a member of the National Art Education Association since the beginning of her art education career and was honored as Missouri’s Higher Art Educator of the Year. She is the author of books such as The Art Teacher’s Book of Lists and The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools, Third Edition, which, co-authored with Marilyn Palmer, is her tenth book for artists and art educators. Marilyn Palmer was an art educator for 34 years in Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. She taught art classes at the elementary level for 17 years. Her Master’s thesis book, titled A Multicultural and Historical Art Curriculum Guide for Grades K–6, led to her teaching Cultural Connections as an art teacher for 2 years at a middle school. She later taught various art classes, including Computer Graphics and Ceramics in high school, where she also served as Department Chair and Regional Visual Arts Leader. Her travel experiences with art students at the secondary level include both domestic and international trips, such as to Italy, Spain, Greece/Grecian Islands, and England. Within her classes, she taught many children of special needs as well as students who were identified as gifted in art. Marilyn was a consultant for The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide for Secondary Schools by Helen Hume. She has also been a judge for Saint Louis Symphony’s Picture the Music Competition, and currently teaches at Art Unleashed, where she offers classes to high school students as well as adults. xv



  he authors are grateful to the people who taught us—our professors, fellow artists, museum professionals, other authors, and our students. We’ve learned from all of them. They are generous with ideas and love to help everyone learn. Often being told how to do something is just the beginning for students, who take it from there and go on to the next step—and do something which we teachers might not have considered! Art teachers whose generous input was especially appreciated were consultants Lauren Schaefer and Linda Sachs. Lauren suggested changes from the Second Edition of the book and contributed several new projects to this Third Edition. TAB teacher Linda Sachs generously allowed the authors to observe her art studio classroom in action. Other teachers, and artists who have shared ideas, student artwork and information are: Sandy Collins—Fine Arts Director (Ret.) Parkway School District; Carrie Finnestead; Dr. Jennifer Fisher—University of Missouri St. Louis; Julie Glossenger; Darcey Kemp; Dr. Louis Lankford; Dr. Mick Luehrman; Sherry Neifert and Shannon Leon—classroom teachers; Hester Menier—Missouri Art Education Association President; Brian Murphy; Linda Packard; Maggie Peeno; Brenna Roth; and Mary Tevlin. In addition to student work, teachers, artists, and collectors have shared ideas and images that enhance this full color edition: Cathy Harland; Brother A. Brian Zampier; sculptor/photographer Sandy Skoglund; Sue Hinkel; and Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Kunz; and Laura Wagner—Fort Zumwalt Assistant, Public Relations and Media. Friends and family who are sounding boards when we are talking about writing a book are most appreciated: Susan Hume, LuWayne Younghans, Cindy Kunz, Laurie Wilson, Beth Goyer, Suzanne Walker, Linda Bowers, Lauren Schaefer, Lindsey Vernon, John Palmer, and Peggy Dunsworth. Professional information from school districts and workshops at the National and Missouri Art Education Associations led us in the right direction. A huge thank you to Dr. Dennis Inhulsen, Chief Learning Officer of the NAEA; Janice Hughes and


xviii Acknowledgments Cathryn Gowan—staff members of the NAEA; Dr. Jennifer Fisher—University of Missouri St. Louis; Dr. Marilyn Stewart—NCCAS (National Common Core Art Standards); Rick Peterson—Show Me Art Editor (Ret.); Dr. Roger Kelly, Missouri Director of Fine Arts; Laura Wagner—Fort Zumwalt School District; Wentzville, Missouri; and Hester Menier—MAEA President. Working with professionals in the publishing field has kept the authors on track as we all worked online within Jossey-Bass/Wiley’s schedule that would ensure swift publication of this full-color book. Our gratitude for their guidance and patience to Editor Benji (Elisha Benjamin), Production Editor Nisha (Nishantini Amir), Illustrations Team Naveen (Nityanandan Paramisivam) and Raji, (Rajalaxmi Rajendrasingh ) Copy Editor Aravind Kannankara, Acquisitions Editor Riley Harding, Mackenzie Thompson Editorial Assistant, and Christine O’Connor, Managing Editor. These Art institutions gave us the right to use artworks that are in their collections or they represent the professional artists whose artworks are featured: Lisa Ballard—­Artists Rights Society New York; Jennifer Belt—Associate Permission Director, Art Resource; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Chicago Art Institute; Grace Pamperien and Jennifer Martino— Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Collections Information Specialist Ama Iromuanya—Dallas Museum of Arts; Jessica Herczeg-Konecny, Digital Asset Manager—Detroit Institute of the Arts; Christa Barleben—The Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis; Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe; Getty Trust; Liz Lumpkin—Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria; Marty Stein—The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Margareth Verbakel—M.C. Escher Trust, Netherlands; Peter Huestis—National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Stacey L. Sherman—Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Conna Clark—Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts; Saint Louis Art Museum; registrar Richard Sorensen—Smithsonian American Art Museum, .

About the Book


he Art Teachers Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools, Third Edition features many exciting new components! This book is beautifully enhanced with full-color museum photos as well as full-color student artworks. It also includes many reproducible copyright-free handouts for teachers to use such as Safety in the Art Room, Public Relations, Elements and Principles of Design, and current up-to-date information from the National Art Education Association. Written by two art educators with experience at elementary and middle school, high school and university, it offers fully updated projects for today’s students. Ten chapters offer a spectrum of projects in two- and three-dimensional art, using a wide variety of media. In discussion with teachers at all levels, we find that elementary teachers introduce basic art materials to students and the classroom routine from day one. Many students who enter kindergarten may have already been using crayons at home and in pre-schools. By now, they may be somewhat tired of crayons, markers, and Play-Doh. It is up to you to introduce them to the potential in these and other materials. What a privilege! Delightful work from lower elementary students may be a result of just turning them loose to experiment and finding what they can do with paint. Young students may not yet know how to create art on the computer or research, but count on it, they will be learning. Research has shown that creating art increases right-brain (intuitive) thinking and helps develop problem-solving ability. We also mustn’t lose sight of teaching “art for art’s sake.” Children still deserve to experience one of the joys of childhood, the feeling of accomplishment when creating something beautiful. And all children’s art is beautiful! Perhaps it could be better with a little more time spent on it, and the next effort could be an improvement, but children deserve the opportunity to create and have their efforts appreciated. Eventually you have the opportunity to introduce them to what is happening in today’s art world. Help them learn about artists and art created in other times and cultures. Unlike the arts, most state assessment systems require the annual testing of students in reading/ language arts, mathematics, and science. Some also require this in each of the fine arts xix


About the Book

departments. Although fine arts are not always required to be tested, check to see if yours is one of many states in the USA that has elected to write its own Grade Level Expectations in Fine Arts. Up-to-date information and planning sheets from the National Art Education Association are included in Chapter 2. This book emphasizes the importance of teaching all the students coming into the art room, with specific suggestions for teaching students with special needs, including those with autism, visual and hearing impairment, developmental disabilities, motor impairment, social/emotional needs, and gifted students. Benchmarks for student skills at each grade level are given to help the art teacher with student assessment. The authors include a look at TAB (Teaching Artistic Behavior), sometimes referred to as Choice-Based Art Education. Many projects are written to encourage individual creativity. Curriculum connections, adaptations for younger students, and alternative projects are often included with a lesson. Rich historical and cultural information is woven into every lesson with background information for the teacher. Many practical tips are offered to set the art teacher up for success, ranging from displaying student artwork to setting up technology in the art room.


Let’s Teach Art

Art Has Its Own Curriculum Elementary and middle school classroom teachers often incorporate art into some of their lessons, but it is a special treat for students to look forward to their art-class day, when the subject is art. Teaching art is not exclusively for art specialists, and most states recommend that elementary and middle school students receive 45–60 minutes of visual art instruction each week. Home-school teachers have also learned that their students benefit from art lessons.

Figure 1.1  The Magical Zebra, Peyton Cunningham, Grade 2, cardboard, tempera, 9” × 5” × 3.75”, Chesterfield Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Julie Glossenger.




ONGOING PROCESS Teaching the curriculum of art is an ongoing process. Ideally students learn to look at and create art, expanding familiarity with artists, styles, and cultures throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years.

WHOLE-BRAIN DEVELOPMENT The higher-order thinking skills and problem-solving abilities of students increase as a result of their ongoing experience. Research has shown that students who participate in the visual and performing arts perform better in other fields of study. Developing skills is also an ongoing process. Students should have experience every year in creating by drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media, and sculpture. In-depth experience in a medium fosters creative exploration. Students can be encouraged to come up with creative solutions, and it is amazing how inventive students are.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT I saw a child making a production of throwing away a work of art that he had worked on carefully all hour. It was as if he were saying “Tell me to get it back out and that it is beautiful.” As early as third grade, some students’ expectations are so high that they rarely meet them, and some students keep “starting over” and never get anything finished. Perseverance is important in character development, and art is a wonderful place to reinforce it. Art is such a personal thing! Students are highly sensitive about their work. Your expectations and suggestions should be phrased carefully. This does not mean that you should never criticize children’s art. Simply ask the student what the next step might be to make it more complete.

New Concepts in Art Education Teaching art has gone beyond simply introducing children to the appropriate use of media and improving their skills through projects. Although these have traditionally been the basis of teaching art, the potential for so much more exists. Informed teachers are willing to experiment with new concepts in art education. Begin to develop a system for your classroom that allows for choice-based-art for students from about second grade on up through elementary school. It is also called TAB (Teaching Artistic Behavior). If students have learned a variety of skills before they begin choice-based art, they are more willing to choose from among all the options.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

TAB—Teaching Artistic Behavior TAB, also called choice-based art education, is a trend in art education that is exciting to ­students and teachers alike. In most districts, choice-based art is taught in grades two or three through five. Lower elementary students are exposed to drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and fiber arts, which prepares them for making their own decisions as they advance. From second grade onward in some schools, students are taught to become (and behave) as studio artists: making a plan of their idea with a sketch and a few words to describe the art. The concept can be revised and refined as they progress. Students select a medium or process, solve their own problems, complete their work, evaluate it, share it with others, and clean up. This sounds like an overwhelming experience for young people, but they appear to thrive on it and talk with confidence about it. Based on conversations with TAB converts, it is suggested that teachers shouldn’t be disappointed if at first the artwork doesn’t seem to be the quality your teacher-directed artwork had been before you were using choice-based art education. If students have been taught the skills, or given a mini-refresher lesson, original, creative thinking will come out. In the beginning of the year, each “studio” is introduced (one at a time) for students to explore and try out art materials to see what is possible. Each student might have a checklist of exercises to complete. IN A STUDIO A STUDENT MAY BE WORKING ON, WORK IN PROGRESS—continuing with the original plan, improving, innovating SKILL BUILDER—trying out supplies to see what they will do, experimenting MAKE AND TAKE—one-day project A WOW PROJECT—something they are proud of, did their best work on, is original, and shows growth as an artist. Students do a self-assessment at the end of each day, as well as mark the studio they worked in—this helps the student and teacher keep track of which studios were visited.

Art Teacher Linda Sachs, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri

TAB (CHOICE-BASED ART EDUCATION) As they enter, each student picks up his or her notebook, in which they will sketch an idea and devise a plan for the day. They may begin something new or follow through on a previous sketch. In a studio, a student may choose to resume a work-in-progress, try a skill builder, or experiment with some new material. Choice-based learning can be all-out, as the authors observed in Linda Sachs’ art room in the Ridge Meadows School, Rockwood




School District in St. Louis County, Missouri. A classroom is divided into identifiable studios such as Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Printmaking, and Fiber. The centers might simply be tables separated as much as possible, with all the equipment, directions, inspiration, and materials for that studio nearby. Walls or cabinets in a studio-center might have examples by famous painters, sculptors, or printmakers. For example, the fiber studio might include small examples of weaving, a selection of yarns and fibers, needle selections, and an ongoing weaving on a large standing frame loom on which everyone in the class may weave. A painting studio might feature aprons on a coat rack (students help themselves to the aprons as needed), tabletop easels and canvases on shelves, tempera in dispenser bottles, palettes (disposable paper plates or plastic palettes with wells), and clean brushes. The cabinet doors or walls in that center might display a color wheel, and paintings by one or two famous painters. Students either work on an individual painting or may choose to work in a group to paint something as major as a large ceiling tile. Or each is individually enlarging a portion of a famous painting reproduction (see the project titled “Enlarge a Masterpiece” in Chapter 5). A group project involves decisions such as: What is a design that we all can like? What is our painting medium? How many people should work on this together? Creative teachers in small rooms solved the problems that such jam-packed rooms presented. One teacher identified studio-centers by placing a labeled cardboard box lid (or the bottom of a sturdy box) with specific materials at one end of each “studio” table. Another numbered wall storage cabinets to be “studio-centers,” and the students wrote in their notebooks the numbers of the storage cabinets and the materials and equipment to be located in each. The sculpture equipment and media were in one cabinet while the painting materials and brushes, drawing and printing supplies were put in other cabinets. When students are ready to work, they check in their notebooks to find the location of materials. As real artists would, they put things back neatly near the end of the hour. Students are always given adequate warning when it is time to begin cleaning up in order to save time for the 5–10-minute end-of-hour critiques. At a Missouri Art Education Conference, keynote speaker Katherine Douglas said she pretends to “cry,” saying “Oh, I’ve tried something that is too hard for you. I feel so bad! Things are such a mess.” Of course, the students snapped right to it and cleaned up after themselves. Structuring class time to accommodate self-directed learning might involve beginning the class with a brief overview (5–10 minutes) of the work of a specific artist, showing a short film or examples, or giving a short mini-lesson. One teacher takes a video of herself as she gives a mini-lesson, which she uses again and again when she needs a demonstration. She shows these even to her kindergarten students during their quieting-down time. Art teacher Linda Sachs in St. Louis County, Missouri, has begun a TAB art gallery in the hall outside the studio, where students display their own art works, placing their statements next to it. TAB may not be taught year-round, as some teachers use modifications of choice-based art. For example, at the beginning of the school year, a teacher might give a quick overview

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

of the elements and principles of art while introducing the artwork of one or two famous artists. Or one might choose to do messy projects such as ceramics with all grade levels at the same time for a 2–3-week period.

Some Considerations to Make TAB Work

••Keep track of the time. A 5–10-minute quiet time at the beginning and end of each

class in front of the whiteboard is useful for introducing a new technique or artist. ••Plan your time well; organize space and materials; and give a special introduction about artists or various media. ••Help students develop a habit such as picking up and leaving their notebooks on a table near the door.

••Use wide plastic tape to mark on the floor a quick pathway from the door through

the classroom, leaving space for a quiet-time sitting area in front of a whiteboard, in front of the drying rack, and in front of the sink. ••Have students roll out a neutral-colored display panel (felt) (approximately 30 × 70 inches) on the floor for displaying finished artwork at the end of the hour. At the end of class, it allows an artist time to share a new artwork with fellow students and have a discussion about the finished work. ••Some TAB teachers encourage students to write in their notebooks about what was accomplished that day, or to grade their day’s work on the classroom computer. ••Pull-out plastic drawers contain a multitude of scrap materials: cloth, buttons, corks, paper scraps, aluminum pieces, etc. ••Label every single drawer or container on the front, asking that it be replaced front-side-out. ••The location and use of equipment such as a computer (for individual researches), glue guns, scissors, pliers, hammers, nails, small handsaws, etc., along with safety equipment (goggles—if needed), must be clearly labeled and introduced. ••Projects in a variety of media all going on at once need instruction. To avoid repeatedly answering the same question, write simple instructions, using Sharpie on white poster boards to hang near the appropriate studio. Older students might be interested in creating some of these posters. ••Record finished student work on a class camera or cellphone. This allows you and each student to maintain a portfolio that shows growth throughout the year—and is helpful for presentations or when you must give grades. ••Encourage students to display their work in a gallery that is not in the art studio. They may place an “artist’s statement” next to it. ••Older or experienced students can be used as “coaches.”




Figure 1.2  Awesome Cool Band, Hailey Davenport, Grade 2, collage, oil pastel, acrylic on paper, 12” x 18”, Ridge Meadows Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs.

Inspirational Sources for Project Ideas More and more avenues exist today for teachers to share project ideas. Even if you already have an idea, it is always interesting to see how another teacher tackles the same project. Try not to copy anything you see exactly as you see it. That is really easier than it sounds, because, as you get involved in the process, you will naturally make some different decisions along the way. Use others’ ideas as jumping-off points. Ask yourself: “What do I like best about what I see?,” and then “What could I change to make it more mine?”


••Go to art shows in other schools and school districts. Seeing an idea in person is the

best way to learn. You can usually deduce the process enough to give your favorites a try. It is easier to decide if it’s appropriate for you when you see the actual work. ••Exchange ideas with other art teachers in your school district or with colleagues who work in other school districts. You are the best support network for each other—in not only lesson ideas, but classroom organization, behavior management, and so much more. ••Buy books! You are already on a good path. Many ideas in one or two books can make your search for ideas so much easier and more time efficient. ••Many teachers follow other teachers on Instagram or on blogs. If you have a favorite or two, you can use them as a rich resource. Just remember that it’s always best to give the project your own “spin” in one way or another.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

••Pinterest is another great source that will give you multitudes of ideas from many

teachers all over the world. It is from here that many find the teachers and artists they want to follow. ••Let yourself soak in ideas from many sources, but at the same time work on developing your own creative skills. You will soon find inspiration from nature, or a museum or gallery that stimulates a new idea in you!

What Children Should Know and Be Able to Do—GradeLevel Characteristics The following characteristics of students at each grade level are aligned with National Core Arts Standards and grade-level expectations that were developed by experienced art professionals. Some students may work far beyond these levels while others may not yet have reached them.


Figure 1.3 

Characteristics of Kindergarten Children

Have little sense of scale and omit things that are not important. Quite self-centered, do not work particularly well in groups. Usually are able to verbalize needs. Unable to sustain any activity for more than 20 minutes. What Kindergarteners Can Do with Materials

Art equipment—students begin to learn about using art tools in a safe, responsible manner.




Clay—manipulate to form a ball, make a coil, flatten, squeeze, make a pinch pot. Drawing and painting materials—learn to use large markers, crayons, large and small brushes. Paper—cut, glue, tear, bend, fold, curl, fold in half. Print—make a simple print with stamps, fingers, or objects. Scissors—use control to cut curved or straight lines. Kindergarteners’ Understanding of Concepts

Identify and draw differences in line—thick, thin, zigzag, curved, straight, interrupted. Recognize and draw geometric and free-form shapes—categorizing as large or small. Make large shapes by combining geometric and free-form shapes. Identify and use light and dark, primary and secondary colors—red, yellow, blue, green, violet, and orange, but may not be able to identify whether they are primary or secondary. Identify and create patterns by repeated use of line, color, form, or a single shape. Perceive things that are alike and different—recognize differences in art media. Talk about their own art and that of other artists, identifying the subject of an artwork. Communicate ideas that are personally important. Are aware of houses, buildings—are able to talk about design on clothing. Suggestions for Teaching Kindergarteners

Introduce the skills and media lessons step-by-step. Allow kindergarten students to experiment with materials. Let them make portraits of themselves, family, and friends.


Figure 1.4 

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Characteristics of First Graders

Have a great range in maturity, which results in wide differences among them in their ability to listen, comprehend, and follow directions, but may have difficulty with more than one idea at a time. Draw what they know, not what they see—can draw a complete figure, but tend to exaggerate the more important parts. Love lessons that are full of activity and fun—imaginative stories, fantasy, plays, games, and dances. Can work enthusiastically and be absorbed in creating art. Show satisfaction with artwork and desire approval of the teacher and classmates; are more aware of the people around them. Are interested in mechanical devices and moving parts. What First Graders Can Do with Materials

Clay—make pinch pots or form a piece of “pinched-out” sculpture from clay, simple slab construction, apply glazes. Equipment—use safe practices with art tools and can learn to close the lid on a glue bottle. Markers, pencils, or crayons—use materials to fill an area with solid color. Paint—mix primary colors to make secondary colors, fill an area with solid color, make value differences (colors lighter or darker), finger paint, use crayon resist with watercolor, and can learn to make controlled (dragging, not pushing) strokes with the brush. Paper—fold and identify an edge, glue, fringe an edge with scissors, tear, cut. Weaving—use large paper strips to weave paper in a simple pattern. First Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Recognize and describe line, shape, color, and pattern in historical artworks. Recognize texture and pattern in clothing or in nature and describe it. Appreciate movement in a work of art such as van Gogh’s The Starry Night. Respond to a feeling about a work of art based on their own lives. Understand that form and function go together (a clay pot must be strong). Know that artists have designed clothing, buildings, and furniture. See the difference between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional forms. Discuss subject matter in art, understand differences in still life, portrait, landscape, seasons. Begin to understand how to show space (with reminders): overlapping, making figures smaller in background.




Suggestions for Teaching First Graders Introduce the vocabulary of line, pattern, color, shape, and space. Have them identify line and shape in the room or on their clothing. Teach students one step at a time and encourage them to talk about their own work and that of others at appropriate times.


Figure 1.5 

Characteristics of Second Graders

Welcome responsibility—the chance to show they know how to do something. Observe more details in their surroundings (buildings, people, clothing). Love nature (animals), imaginary creatures, fantasy. Are extremely self-confident; willing to tackle anything. Are fascinated about how things work—castles, boats, machinery. Are open to new experiences—field trips, TV, books, movies, new clothes. Love games, stories, dances, plays. What Second Graders Can Do with Materials

General—construct sculpture from found objects, create realistic forms such as animals. Brush—wash brush between colors. Clay—create sculptures, roll a few coils, make pinch pots, apply glazes. Equipment—understand and use safe practices, assist in getting materials out and putting them away.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Paint—mix two colors of tempera paint to make a third color, control paint to make a variety of lines. Pencil, crayon, charcoal—create value by changes in pressure. Paper—use joining methods, curling, bending, folding, tearing, attaching one piece to another, weaving to create a pattern. Second Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Become more aware of size relationships in comparing objects and in regard to themselves. Become more aware that things are designed by artists (cars, clothes, kitchen items, furniture, buildings). Become aware of themes in artworks from various cultures. Are able to add lines that resemble real texture, for example, hair, or to incorporate real texture within a composition. Understand that personal selections, such as clothing, reflect personal expression. Understand that lines can be used to make something appear three-dimensional. Make geometric shapes. Understand positive and negative shapes (may be best done with cut paper). Observe design (pattern, balance) in natural organisms such as butterflies or insects, and in artworks. Recognize differences in art media. Suggestions for Teaching Second Graders

Stress cooperation, sharing, and responsibility. Introduce unfamiliar art forms and materials. Talk about jobs that artists have—let them be designers. Allow them to combine found materials in sculpture. Show them fantasy art in history and encourage fantasy paintings and sculpture. Create a composition that uses a variety of lines: dotted, zigzag, wavy, interrupted. Introduce a paint-mixing technique that uses several values (tints and shades) of one hue, such as green. Allow the use of a small amount of the complementary color (red). Lead them to compare and contrast two works of art, referring to subjects, the purpose for which it might have been created, the media used, and elements and principles of art. Expose them to differences in art among several cultures—European, Native American, and Egyptian.




Caution not to use trite symbols (suns in corners with rays, stick figures, pointy mountains, balloon or cauliflower trees). Have them make an original landscape or cityscape about their school, home, or neighborhood that creates the illusion of space (foreground, middle ground, background). Other appropriate themes are nature or the country.


Figure 1.6 

Characteristics of Third Graders

Enthusiastic, open to new experiences and using new materials. Anxious to please their peers, careful not to do anything too different from what the other students are doing. Tend to separate themselves by gender outside the classroom, but work well in mixedgroup projects. Interested in learning to draw realistically, frustrated at times when they are not able to appreciate that fantasy exists in the imagination and may be used in artwork. Enjoy art museum visits and learning about the role of artists in society. What Third Graders Can Do with Materials

General—distribute and collect materials, clean tables, take general responsibility. Brushes—wash brushes, mix colors with the brush. Clay—create sculptures, roll a few coils, use a roller to make a slab, apply glazes. Paint—mix tempera, understand crayon resist, use and take care of watercolors. Ink—make monoprints, stamping, collagraph printmaking.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Printing materials—glue cardboard, string, and/or found objects to a piece of matboard and make a print from it. Fiber arts—weaving. Colored pencil, oil pastel, crayons, layer two or more colors. Paper—cut well with scissors, use joining methods, curl, bend, score, fold, make forms from paper (origami, portrait heads). Papier mâché or plaster gauze, create facial mask forms. Paint—apply watercolor, thinned tempera or thinned acrylic in even strokes to make a wash (as in a sky), use paint to draw shapes and fill in evenly. Third Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Use horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, textures, colors, and sizes. Comprehend foreground, middle ground, and background, and show these by using overlapping, size differences, and value differences. Discriminate between warm and cool colors—identify how artists have used colors for expression. Recognize and use real and invented texture. Identify contrast by variation in size and color. Define symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance; identify columns, beams, domes, and arches, and analyze how a building is constructed; develop personal use of color and other elements effectively in two-dimensional work. Become aware of articulation of parts of the living body (examples—human, horse, cat). Suggestions for Teaching Third Graders

Allow them to create a nonobjective work of art through the introduction of abstract historical art. Teach them to see—teach contour drawing of a hand and the human form; blind contour drawing of something such as a simple plant. Discuss proportions of the human form; have them draw their classmates in an action pose. State objectives when beginning, then help them evaluate halfway through whether they are meeting the objectives in their own work. Talk about works of art; compare and contrast two similar paintings from different cultures or time periods. Discuss subject, elements and principles, the theme of the artwork. Introduce sculpture in the round (both by showing existing artworks and demonstration). Help them realize that this is not just two-dimensional (height and width) but also has depth and will be looked at from all directions.




Discuss how people are different in what art appeals to them. Talk about how things work (buildings, machinery, transportation)—the why of form and function.


Figure 1.7 

Characteristics of Fourth Graders

Are developing a sense of humor; love comics and cartoon characters. Can develop feelings of inferiority about their lack of ability to draw what they see. Talk at appropriate times about their own work and that of their friends. Know analogous, complementary, warm, cool, shade, primary colors, secondary colors. Are open to viewing different art styles and do not yet judge if something is “good” or “bad.” What Fourth Graders Can Do with Materials

Brushes—successfully mix paint; care for watercolor sets; wash brushes and clean up. Clay—do ceramic coiling; make pinch pots or clay animals; create portrait and figure sculpture; apply glazes. Crayons—color firmly for scratch-art. Metal tooling foil—emboss and stipple. Paint—mix colors to make tints and shades; apply watercolor wash, wet-on-wet, and resists. Make a value scale—pencil, marker, charcoal: create light medium and dark values.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Ink—create a brayer printing, a glue-line print, a collagraph, or a monoprint on plastic sheet; draw with pen and ink. Paper—cut skillfully with scissors, score, curl, fold origami shapes. Fiber arts—weave with a simple loom (cardboard, straws). Sculpture materials—handle plaster-gauze well, do additive sculpture, use papier mâché. Fourth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Comprehend color scheme based on color wheel. Know the meaning of color terms—analogous, complementary, shade, tint, primary, secondary, warm, cool, contrast, mood, “grayed” colors. Create the illusion of space through placement, size, and value. Use facial proportions correctly, develop a more realistically proportioned human figure, show movement. By looking at art, become aware of how artists depict animals and the human figure. Identify different media, subject matter, and art forms such as sculpture, tempera, watercolor, prints, portraits, landscapes. Comprehend that form follows function in design, and bring in specific examples. Understand that many artists use artwork to express themselves and their cultural identities. Recognize architecture from various climates and cultures of the world on the basis of the construction materials used, including their own regional architecture. Suggestions for Teaching Fourth Graders

Use distortion, simplification, or exaggeration to create an abstraction of an object, place, facial characteristics, a still life. Avoid having them copy, as many already lack confidence in their ability to draw. Remind them to avoid trite symbols such as balloon or broccoli trees, happy faces, and rainbows. But talk about real symbols—things that are understood by most people, such as street signs and bathroom identification. Introduce still life to foster the decision-making process, highlighting unity, variety, emphasis. Talk about positive and negative space, radial balance, center of interest, focal point, contrast. Introduce proportions of the face; have them do self-portraits; draw fellow students; discuss body proportions; learn to really look. Encourage exploration of color schemes through an open-ended landscape assignment. Introduce sculpture in-the-round. Compare and contrast two artworks from two different cultures (time or place) on the basis of theme, media, subject, and elements and principles of art.





Figure 1.8 

Characteristics of Fifth-Grade Students

Love being designers—doing an actual assignment to design clothing, furniture, a house, and so on. Are eager to help; enthused about art; take responsibility; are helpful to classmates; work well in groups; are open to creative problem-solving. Are interested in learning about new tools and techniques; are capable of working with almost any material. May lose confidence in their artistic ability because their drawings are not “real” enough or because they think their classmates’ projects are better. Tend to stay separate (boys and girls), with different interests, hobbies, activities. Are able to concentrate for much longer periods of time. Can begin to display giftedness in art; those who love art will devote long hours to it. What Fifth Graders Can Do with Materials

Charcoal, pastels, pencil, colored pencil; create texture and surface interest. Equipment—use scissors, lino tools. Clay—make clay tiles, create boxes, do slab or coil construction, make a section of a ceramic mural.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Paint—tempera: make a sharp edge; watercolor: blend from light to dark, mix a variety of hues; acrylic: same skills as tempera, use intermediate tones. Ink and markers—apply ink wash; display control of line; use markers with style and control. Metal tooling foil—emboss and stipple. Paper—fold, score, cut with scissors, do controlled tearing, use joining techniques such as slits or tabs. Fiber arts—do batik, print; use tie-dye. Sculpture materials—create an assemblage of found materials, use papier mâché and plaster-gauze, create a ceramic sculpture, create a cardboard sculpture. Printmaking—use lino-cuts, do eraser stamping; create stamp Styrofoam images. Fifth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Learn that sculptors are sometimes commissioned to do monumental artwork for public places. Respect that appropriate sculptural materials must be used, or the sculpture may disintegrate. Compare and recognize differences in artworks from a variety of cultures. Recognize the artist’s intention in using images and color to create mood. Identify symbols, natural images, and objects used to create artworks. Understand and use several different ways of showing depth (overlapping differences in color and size, rudimentary perspective); recognize that light, distance, relative size, etc., affect the appearance of an object. Suggestions for Teaching Fifth Graders

Let them point out strengths and weaknesses in their artwork and changes that might improve it. Introduce many different styles of art and discuss whether something has to be “real” to express the artist’s idea. Enlist students to assist in hanging artwork, organizing materials, in performing any of the art room chores. Review concepts of realism, abstraction, positive and negative space, light and shadow, texture. Introduce one- and two-point perspective.





Figure 1.9 

Characteristics of Sixth Graders

Know everything, or think they do, but are still quite open to new experiences. Ready to be exposed to learning about artists, why their work looks the way it does, what contemporary artists are doing; have begun to form a real opinion on certain kinds of art and artists. Experience dramatic mood swings because of physical and emotional changes; seek peer approval. Have a short attention span at times. Display a preadolescent interest in music, language, videos, cell phones, and social media. Often prefer being by themselves, independent of adults. What Sixth Graders Can Do with Materials and Technology

Drawing media—use charcoal, pencil, pastel, or oil pastel; draw an object from observation; apply tip or side of media firmly or softly. Clay—sculpt a bust; make box forms; do slab or coil construction. Paint—mix colors in all paint media; overlap and smoothly blend colors. Ink—control ink wash; make line drawings. Paper—create a sculpture; use three-dimensional forms; make origami folds. Fiber arts—use batik; print on cloth; tie-dye; tie simple knots; wrap yarn; weave.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Sculpture materials—use assemblage; use papier mâché or plaster gauze; make a cardboard relief; sculpt with paper or pulp; use found materials; cut paper. Printmaking—monoprint, collagraph, or a string print. Technology—-create a variety of designs using both a drawing/painting program as well as a photo editing program or website. Begin to take pictures with digital cameras. Sixth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Understand one- and two-point perspective concepts; want to learn how to show depth. Open to learning new, difficult technical skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Judge works by formalism (elements and principles of art), emotionalism (the viewer’s emotional reaction to the art), and realism (the belief that best art closely resembles reality). Understand the elements and principles of art, and identify their use in their own artwork and that of others. Identify functions of architecture for worship, burial, public, and private use. Suggestions for Teaching Sixth Graders

Introduce one- and two-point perspective concepts. Base as many projects as you can on the self (self-portrait, human form). Have them create a realistic portrait. Help develop abstract thinking by giving several different three-dimensional projects. Students should be able to look at a work and identify into which of the following categories it most logically fits: reality, expressing feelings, or serving a practical purpose. Conduct aesthetic discussions about nonrealistic works of art. Talk about how different cultures have different ideas about what is beautiful. Students may respond negatively to unfamiliar artwork from other cultures or time periods because of their personal experience or what their friends may think. Take them outside the classroom to draw houses, buildings, people, cars, playground equipment. Help them progress sufficiently in their art skills so they will want to continue learning, rather than concluding that they are not “artists” because they may not draw realistically. Interest them in art from other cultures and in trying their hand at similar projects. Introduce them to making posters, teaching the use of balance, space, and emphasis. Motivate through encouraging fantasy art or depicting imaginative experiences; they tend to be very interested in Surrealism. Make handmade books to be used for a journal.





Figure 1.10 

Characteristics of Seventh Graders

Are more aware of physical appearance than previously; suddenly interested in the opposite sex. Would like to be treated like an adult, yet often revert to childish solutions and behavior. Want to be individuals, yet very sensitive to peer pressure and want to identify with a group. Interested in exciting experiences. Eager to learn controlled technologies to improve their skills. What Seventh Graders Can Do with Materials and Technology

General—capable of handling materials and equipment with skill. Equipment—use lino-cutting tools; X-acto® knives. Clay—Do slab and coil building; sculpture; clay architecture. Paint—understand mixing color to make tints, shades, “grayed” colors; make textures with a variety of strokes. Ink and markers—use hatching, cross-hatching, sketching, and ink wash; understand controlled directional use of markers; create implied texture. Paper—make handmade paper; origami or paper sculpture. Fiber arts—stitch, weave, basketry, batik, fabric collage, knot, wrap, make paper, understand book arts. Sculpture materials—use files or sandpaper; adhere materials; clay or plastercraft; papier mâché. Printmaking materials—make a relief linoleum print (lino-cut). Technology—create more complex designs and begin to utilize the layer menu, learn how to bring photos into a photo editing application for enhancement.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Seventh Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Recognize that different cultures have styles in artwork that reflect people’s values and beliefs. Identify and use elements and principles of art, recognizing rhythmic lines, complex shapes, analogous colors, balance (radial, symmetry and asymmetry), focal point, and contrast. Do research on something if it is of interest to them. Record reality in landscapes, cityscapes, and portraiture. Aware of how color, line, shape, and composition affect a composition. Interpret subject and theme, identify center of interest. Interest in learning about architecture; recognize how different cultural influences and location affect the style of buildings. Suggestions for Teaching Seventh Graders

Assign research projects about artists. Encourage them to take photographs and use photos to record their world, and use photos as an art form. Compare and contrast two artworks by artistic style, media, and art processes. Assign more technical computer graphics lessons. Spend more time talking about what artists might have been thinking, why they work the way they do, and what effect society has on the appearance of art. Allow students to select the appropriate media to express themselves.


Figure 1.11 




Characteristics of Eighth Graders

Are highly self-conscious and interested in personal appearance; are aware of how others see them. Trying to figure out who they are, trying various roles from week to week. Helpful—interested in service projects and environmental concerns. Inquisitive and interested in complex ideas; want to relate education to their lives. Interested in the personal lives of entertainers, sports stars, TV personalities. Sensitive about artistic ability; take criticism of their artwork personally. Interested in working with others on a joint project. What Eighth Graders Can Do with Materials and Technology

General—physically work with most artistic materials, simply differing in degree of skill. Marker, ink, pencil, or colored pencil—create continuous, even tones and blending. Technology—apply elements and principles of design to photography and graphic design. Clay—model sculpture; work with coil and slab building; make pinch pots. Fiber arts—make jewelry, weaving, understand book arts. Paint—mix paint to create tints and shades, tones, or neutral colors; model; show depth; represent something realistically. Technology—begin to work with drawings using vector points in a drawing program, use filters and effects appropriately in a photo editing application. Eighth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts

Want to know why things are taught and the application to real life. Can continue to learn about careers related to the visual arts. Can identify and use varied line quality, value differences, complementary colors, formal and informal balance, scale relationship, perspective, diminishing size, and color to show depth. Use materials and techniques to depict moods, ideas, feelings. Discuss design elements to create objects and materials for living. Identify artwork from different cultures and time periods by specific common characteristics. Think abstractly—can grasp double meanings, morality, and symbolism in artwork. Can interpret the meaning of work and identify whether it demonstrates reality (­imitationalism), expresses feelings (emotionalism), emphasizes the elements and principles of art (formalism), or is a useful object (functionalism).

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Suggestions for Teaching Eighth Graders

Help them improve skills in a variety of media, introducing new ways of using familiar materials. Give them “real” assignments when possible: posters, designing jewelry, fabrics, murals. Assign open-ended topics that allow them to express moods such as happiness or sadness. Assign a painting related to time or space (past, present, or future). Help them develop aesthetic judgment and discuss how they apply it to daily life (as consumers and connoisseurs of art). Continue to introduce and discuss historical artworks from a variety of cultures. Personalize some projects, encouraging them to use their own faces, names, or initials as design elements. Encourage them to work in groups on a large project such as a mural, or reports on artists, or even several working together as collaborative artists.

Modifications in Art for Special-Needs Students Art teachers try to accommodate a variety of learning styles by using different methods to introduce a lesson, such as demonstrating, writing on the board, talking about art, and individual guidance. For the students with physical and mental disabilities, a variety of other methods of learning can be utilized that will make their art experience easier and more successful. Many of the accommodations listed here are for those who are mainstreamed students (placed in the least restrictive environments) or are participants in inclusion, where they attend a resource classroom part of the day and are included in special classes such as art, physical education, and music.



aware of the goals on the student’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or IDEA/504 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section  504) in order to help the student achieve personal goals. It might be a more important goal for the student to learn socialization, complete a task, or develop fine-motor ability than it is to make a work of art. ••The Internet has resources such as catalogs of tools and materials that are helpful for special needs students and adults. Simply type the italicized words into a search engine to search.




••Check the student’s IEP for testing adaptations. Allow more time for a special-needs

student or read the questions aloud. Highlight words you feel the student especially needs to learn or recognize. Check on work-in-progress. ••Para professionals or teacher aides may be assigned to special needs students to coach and assist with materials, but they should never actually do the work for the students. It is the job of the art teacher to tell the helping adult that the artwork is to be done by the student’s hands. ••Give support only as you sense the student needs it, instead of automatically assuming you know what the student’s needs are. That being said, help the student as often as possible. ••Ignore small behaviors and notice the positive behaviors. Use the student as a model of appropriate behavior as often as possible.

••Relaxing background music or headphones may help students who have trouble

focusing on the task at hand. ••Break lessons into shorter tasks. Perhaps print the “steps” on the board or on a poster as a reminder. Many young people have trouble following lengthy verbal instructions. ••Provide a calming corner or break space within the classroom for students to go to when they feel overwhelmed by emotions. Set a timer and tell them when it is time to rejoin the class. ••Substitute the medium for the project if a student has difficulty with a certain medium (e.g., use oil pastels instead of tempera or watercolor paint). Offer extracredit projects. ••Draw lines with chalk, pencil, or pencil eraser where you want a student to apply glue or cut with scissors.


••Over-teach! Allow the student to complete one stage before beginning another. For

many students, separate steps should be explained. Explain repeatedly if necessary. ••This student may do well with three-dimensional materials or those that offer resistance (such as clay). This student usually thrives on being given responsibilities and being a helper. Offer praise freely for a task well done. One teacher suggests a ratio of one positive comment to one that might be taken as less than positive. ••If the student is disruptive, move him or her to a quieter place to work (see general suggestions about working with special needs students). ••Frequent breaks or a change of pace allow the student to remain composed.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art


••Select projects that are appropriate for the ability of this student. If necessary, sub-

stitute a different medium or goal. ••Demonstrate how to do something, since the student is often able to follow something that he or she sees rather than by listening to complex instructions. ••Especially in this instance, never try to improve the student’s artwork; but, if necessary, demonstrate on a paper towel or tracing paper that is then wadded up and thrown away. ••Over-teach. Sometimes sitting next to the student while he or she works gives confidence.


••Try to accommodate an autistic student’s learning style. Become familiar with the

student’s capability. ••The student may be artistically gifted or may have retained almost nothing artrelated from earlier lessons. To check for retained knowledge, ask the student to draw lines for you that are straight, curved, or zigzag. ••See if there is a subject that is fascinating to the student with autism. Learn about any fixation (and therefore, perhaps, in-depth knowledge) this student might have. Encourage this special interest to become part of his or her interpretation of the lesson. ••Perhaps this student might work best with a few other students, away from noise that might be distracting. ••Provide structure by breaking a lesson into simple, specific directions. The autistic student thrives on routine. Have a specific routine for class time that can quickly become familiar. Give enough notice for finishing and putting away work, cleanup, and the end of class. A few extra minutes warning for the autistic student may make for a smoother transition. Allow time to adjust to change. Unexpected or loud disruptions can send them into a tailspin. For planned fire drills, check your roster for autistic students who may need to stay with the classroom teacher or another trusted adult. ••Model a project by working side-by-side with the student. ••Give adequate warning for the end of work time or for a change of pace.





••Use tactile materials such as clay, wire, finger paint, cardboard pieces, wooden craft

sticks, or other three-dimensional materials that allow the student to feel the texture. ••Place supplies within a frame taped on the table. (This could be no bigger than a roll of masking tape, or a taped-down box lid.) ••The student can hold or feel an object with one hand while drawing it with the other (e.g., a twig or a friend’s ear). ••Use square crayons, or those that are flat on one side, to avoid having them roll off a table. ••In talking about perspective with a visually impaired student, relate the appearance of objects farther away to hearing. The farther away something is, the fainter it sounds. ••For the student who wants to use appropriate colors, pencils, markers, or crayons could be “color-coded” by putting a different number of rubber bands on each color (arrange by spectrum). ••Tape screen-wire to a piece of cardboard as a drawing board. The student can feel a waxy surface left by drawing with crayon on paper that has screen-wire placed underneath. ••Make an outline with a glue gun, wide black marker, glued yarn, wax crayon, or black glue. A visually disabled student can then draw with crayon, chalk, or paint within the outline. ••Scented markers give visually impaired students the use of appropriate colors. ••Add sand to paint, so the student can feel what has been painted. The student also can “paint” on an 8” × 10” piece of cardboard with tiny balls of softened colored modeling clay. Demonstrate how to press the ball on one side so it will adhere to the cardboard. ••If the student cannot see at all, speak when you approach. Also let the student know when you are leaving. Have the student touch your hands while you are demonstrating. ••A sample “texture board” can be created for a visually impaired student to identify what he or she is feeling. ••Substitute yarn, crumpled tissue, or construction paper and glue in place of tempera paint. ••Students can use textured rubbing plates or make fish prints from plastic textured fish.


••Touch the student’s arm to get his or her attention. ••For those students who may be able to read lips, be sure you are facing the student when giving instructions.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

••If you have a mustache, keep it short so your lips are visible. ••Check that the student understands the assignment. Repeat twice, slowly, or write

what the assignment is about on the board. ••It may be necessary to draw or write what the assignment is about. ••Many hearing-impaired students will bring a microphone for you wear while you are teaching, which connects to their hearing device. Be sure to silence it if you find yourself in a conversation with someone else that the hearing-impaired student should not hear.


••This student typically responds well to having a choice of two media. ••Cutting paper may be a problem, and several types of special scissors are available— for example, Squizzers, which are spring-action scissors that spring open after being squeezed. Some scissors have four finger holes, so a “guiding hand” can be used to help the student cut. ••A student might find it easier to tear paper rather than cut it. Or someone else could hold the paper between both hands while the student cuts from the bottom toward the top. ••Tape paper to the table to hold it in place while the student is drawing or painting. ••Use tempera paint in large refillable markers. ••For a student who has difficulty gripping a pencil, crayon, or paintbrush, place the object inside a foam curler or tape it to the hand. ••A student with motor impairment may benefit from being able to trace around a template. ••Felt-tipped pens may be easier for a student to handle than crayons.

ADAPTATIONS FOR ATTENTION-SEEKING STUDENTS For some students, negative attention will serve just as well as positive attention. You can help these students control themselves by intervention techniques.

••Give this student more classroom tasks and responsibilities. ••Let him or her be a special helper to get out and put away supplies. ••Have a table or place where a student who is disturbing others can be moved for a

time to work alone. ••Move him or her to a calming corner for a student to visit if necessary. Use a timer that lets the student know how long he or she will be there. The calming corner should have a chair, as well as some activities for the student on which he or she may work.




••If necessary, get eye-level with the student and clearly state what you would like for

him or her to do, then ask for your request to be repeated back to you. ••If the student has severe behavioral problems, work closely with the classroom teacher, special educator, counselor, principal, and parent on a mutually agreed upon action plan to keep art a pleasant learning experience for everyone. ••Sometimes you just have to back off, busying yourself nearby and getting back to it later.

ADAPTATIONS FOR LOWER GRADE LEVELS Primary children have short attention spans (theoretically 1 minute per year of age), but they are capable of using most media. Working step-by-step is a necessity. Their work is often so free and charming that it is possible to over-teach at this level. They are generally better at painting than drawing. Sometimes just put out painting materials and allow them to paint with fingers, small pieces of sponge, Q-tips, or jumbo brushes. Give a suggestion or two, such as applying paint all the way to the edge of the paper. Children enjoy learning to use the brush to create textures, lines, or shapes. For watercolor resist, one teacher suggests using oil pastels and cake tempera instead of crayon and watercolor because oil pastels don’t need much pressure to get intense lines.

••Create an “art book” during the year that students are in kindergarten. Start it with

a drawn self-portrait on the first day and finish it with a self-portrait drawing during the last week. You may be the one to add a date on each piece, but this portfolio can be used to assess progress in art and teaches students that their work is valued and worth taking care of. ••On finger-paint paper, put out two small puddles of primary colors (red, yellow, and blue); allow students to use a finger to mix and make a secondary color (orange, green, violet), then draw a face using the colors they have mixed. ••If you use finger paint paper (slick-finish), and the paint gets a little too thick, a monotype can be made by placing a second paper on top, and gently rubbing the back of the clean paper with the palm of the hand from the center toward the outside edges. ••Students can use crayons to make rubbings on copy paper of a variety of textures (indoors or outside). They can then cut these textures into shapes to use in a collage. After it is glued in place, ask them “What can it be?” Perhaps then they would draw on the textures with marker or cut and add accents of colored paper. ••Art teachers at times avoid using geometric templates, but drawing around a circle (for example) can teach cooperative learning, with one student holding the template in place while the other draws. Where the circles overlap, students can fill with different texture or patterns in each distinct area. ••Talk about art with the students. Show paintings of landscape, seascape, portrait, narrative (story telling), and abstract compositions. Have them figure out the real objects in an abstract painting (Picasso always had a subject, as did Miró).

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

CHALLENGING ARTISTICALLY GIFTED STUDENTS Students who are gifted in art usually love to draw at an early age. They show unusual perseverance in completing a project and will often put in far greater detail than most, sometimes taking their interpretation of an idea far beyond the basic premise. Keeping this type of child content is seldom difficult because they naturally tend to work harder and longer at most open-ended assignments. Allow some flexibility on due dates. If a complex project takes more time, use your judgement to extend the deadline, allowing the student to work on it at home, or during recess. Be sure not to just give these students more work on a new version of the same project (if it is finished.). Rather, encourage a higher level of work on the same assignment from the beginning of the lesson. Take it to another level. Encourage the student to draw in a personal sketchbook, or to make a drawing of a still life that you have set up elsewhere in the room. In schools that offer classes for artistically gifted students, problem-solving and skill development are featured. For example, students might be challenged to make an architectural model, or to work on a computer graphics assignment.





Figure 1.12  Fire extinguisher

General Suggestions For the students’ protection and your own, always instruct students in the safe use of tools and materials, beginning in kindergarten and reinforcing each year. It is crucial that you take responsibility for making the environment in your art classroom safe for students. Students under the age of 12 are particularly vulnerable to substances in art that might not affect older students. Be certain your materials have an AP (approved product) or CP (certified product) seal that is given by the Art and Craft Materials Institute. Check old materials for this seal, and throw them away if they do not have it. It is also advised that you use materials that state “­Conforms to ASTM D-4236” on the label. Some art materials also come with Material Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Recommended Materials CP or AP pencils, watercolors, tempera, acrylic, oil sticks, crayons, chalks, and colored pencils; CP or AP water-based inks instead of oil-based inks; CP or AP cellulose papier mâché; CP or AP clear acrylic emulsion to fix drawings; CP or AP lead-free glazes for ceramics. Mineral spirits (preferably odorless) instead of turpentine or kerosene. Water-based markers; non-scented, instead of permanent or scented markers.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

Glue sticks or white glue instead of rubber cement. Shellac containing denatured alcohol. Food or vegetable dyes (onion skins, tea, Rit) in place of Procion dyes. Procion dyes are still available. One recommendation if you choose to use these dyes is to wipe up spills with a paper towel and throw it away so the fumes do not get into the air. Working with Clay For a healthy environment, your kiln should be in a separate room or at least separated by a screen. If this is simply not possible, consider using wet, premixed talcfree clays, or paint the fired clay rather than using glazes. Have students wipe the tables with damp sponges after working with clay and dry them. Ideally, have your floor mopped nightly to avoid dust in the air. Care of Cutting Tools Be aware of age-appropriate use of certain tools. Give frequent instructions on safe practices with scissors. Sharp cutting knives and lino-cutters are wonderful tools but should not be used by anyone younger than students in fourth or fifth grade (and then too only with very specific safety instructions). Have students use bench hooks when doing lino-cuts and instruct them to always keep the knife facing forward while keeping the other hand behind the knife. For curved cuts, show students how to rotate the material rather than the cutter. Cutting tools should be kept in a locking cabinet, counted before distribution and again at the end of class. Using Equipment If you must use extension cords, they should be three-pronged and rated for the appropriate wattage for the purpose. Make every effort to run them around the side of the room or even up and over the top of a door rather than across a floor. If necessary, tape them down on the floor. Staple guns. Should be off-limits to students. Whatever their age, students of all ages cannot resist trying to see if they work (sometimes by aiming them at someone). Electrical equipment. Have the kiln, electric drill, etc., inspected for proper operation on a regular basis. Fire extinguisher. Make sure it is routinely inspected and replaced. Sturdy ladder and stepstool. Use them rather than climbing on stools, chairs, or tables. Glue guns. Teach students how to use and respect glue guns. Some mini glue guns have super-low temperature and should be used by the younger students. Set up a glue station where you can keep a close eye on it. Paper cutter guard. Make sure the guard on your paper cutter is always in place.




PUBLIC RELATIONS Parent Communications This communication is the most important one of all and one that is crucial for many students. It’s usually impossible to send individualized notes home to every parent. However, if you see a problem situation starting to show itself, it is best to send a quick note or e-mail home to the parent about a small issue before it becomes a big monster. These same students need a note home to praise good behavior. Parents need to know you also recognize the good in their child. Do as many as you can fit in your available time. It is always worth the effort. The best way to send this type of communication is via the parents’ email. It is likely that you have access to parents’ email addresses through the student roster files. News Releases Most school districts have a Public Relations person whose responsibility it is to send releases about student achievements to local newspapers, often including photos of artwork. Technology Develop your teacher/art department website on the school’s or district’s website. Make sure artwork that is used in your classes is posted for each grade level. This can appear overwhelming at first. Try to just get a small start in the beginning, then add to your page whenever you get a chance. It will slowly build over time. If you want to include a photo of the student’s work, take the highest-quality picture you can take (the picture should be of reproduction quality, 300 ppi (pixels per inch). High-quality photos might also be included in a school yearbook or newsletter. This is your chance to show off your students’ masterpieces! Facebook Fort Zumwalt, a large suburban school district near St. Louis, Missouri, has a ­Monday-morning Facebook upload titled Modern Museum, which features artwork and background music from students. Student artwork may be titled, but student names are never included. They also take advantage of YouTube and Twitter. School or District Website Students’ faces are not usually shown on this district’s YouTube videos—while students may be shown working, their faces are not visible. Special units are featured, such as a study of Mondrian done by fourth graders, but nothing is included that would allow a stranger to identify a face or name.

CHAPTER ONE: Let’s Teach Art

School or District Art Exhibits Change student artwork displays in the school, with occasional displays in the school library or at a local library. Show the work at larger district exhibitions (often at a recreational complex or shopping mall). Parents are very interested in their children’s schoolwork, and artwork is a visible means of showing what is happening in their lives. If a student’s work is displayed somewhere off the school grounds, post information about it on the school’s website and send a note home with the student to inform the parents about it. Digital Photography With the advent of the digital camera, photographing artwork is much simpler than it was earlier. After taking a picture, you can check the exposure to see if it is correct, or if it is sharp enough. Some teachers keep a digital camera readily available to photograph every piece of finished art. These might be used for sharing with colleagues, or for the student’s portfolio. In some schools, older students are expected to record their own work, using the “classroom camera.”

Natural Light Photograph artwork in natural light to record the color as faithfully as possible. Try to pin the work on a wall at eye-level when photographing, with natural light behind you. Use a flash if natural light is not available. Try to fill the frame of the viewfinder with the artwork to eliminate distracting borders.

Outdoors Do this on a calm day in a spot that is sheltered from the sun. A cloudy-bright day is ideal. If the finished photograph is distorted or needs to be cropped, some of the problems can be resolved using a computer program.



Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty Introduction ART HAS ITS OWN CURRICULUM Use varied approaches when you introduce a lesson. Through an early introduction to art, students learn to recognize and apply the elements and principles of art and design. They can develop an appreciation of artists in any culture. Art history, problem-solving, and skill building expectations are found in National and State Core Art Standards. Never lose sight of the simple joy that producing a work of art gives to most children. It gives them another way to express themselves and awakens imagination in them that no other discipline can.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS Friendliness, caring, tolerance, and consistency are important attributes for teacher–­ student relationships. If you are relaxed and calm, and students know you love teaching them, they will recognize it. After you have presented a lesson, ask individuals in the class what the “steps” will be, or ask if they would like to share an idea related to the project. This helps to keep them involved and allows you to clarify any misunderstanding. Afterward, ask the students what they learned (if you write this on a poster board as they talk, their observations can be displayed with the artwork for viewers to see). Sometimes it is good to be outside your classroom when students arrive—just chat with them when you get a chance. Be a good listener. It is often easy to pick up clues when a student is having a bad day, and sometimes paying a little extra attention may be something you can easily do during an art class to make it better.




Figure 2.1  Collage and Watercolor, Yoel Lee, Grade 1, Chesterfield Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher, Julie Glossenger.

HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS Few students will work on something any longer than they have to. You will do them a favor by not accepting casual, half-completed work. A project might become more interesting by introducing more than one medium. For example, a less-than-successful watercolor could be combined with other media in a collage. Or a less-than-perfect painting might benefit by outlining details with a silver oil pastel. In the student example shown here, the student included a placemat that was woven from the previous year to create an altogether new composition. Informed teachers are willing to experiment with new concepts in art education. Some projects might be further developed, for example, by introducing a new medium such as adding watercolor to a crayon drawing or combining a completed artwork within a collage. Just remember to give the students the chance to surprise you!

Setting Up Your Classroom MAKE IT VISUALLY AMAZING! By its very nature, the art room can be an exciting place to enter. Before the year begins, take time to make it appealing with colorful posters and paper in a variety of colors. Perhaps you’ve chosen to feature one artist or culture on a bulletin board. Other important items (rules, timelines, color wheel, art materials) can be added when you need them for a lesson and may become more meaningful to the students at that time. Make an effort from time to time to refresh the room by posting new visuals (and removing some that are tired).

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Obviously, the tables and stools or chairs for your students come first. If space permits, it is better to have more tables and fewer seats at each table. See the section titled “TAB (Choice-Based Art Education)” in Chapter 1 for another way to set up your room.

AS FOR YOUR DESK It can go into a corner anywhere. You should not plan on sitting at your desk during class time. You will be constantly circulating in the room. When you move around, students are free to ask you for help – a great chance to praise the work of every student at one time or another. You will soon find the best places to stand and watch classroom behaviors. Proximity! Much can be headed off simply by where you stand.

TECHNOLOGY IN YOUR ART ROOM Many art teachers are supplied with a computer, which is likely best placed on your desk to protect it from spills, clay dust, etc. Another desirable item to have either on or near your desk is a document camera. This will allow you to project your examples, student examples, and demonstrations with media that will be easy for all students to see. Speakers for your computer will make short videos or music (which you access through your computer) more easily heard throughout the room. Since the computer, document camera, and speakers are interconnected, these items are suggested to be on or near your desk. The projector is often ceiling mounted to show onto a whiteboard, interactive board, or pull-down screen. If you need assistance getting equipment to work together, call for technology help from your school or from the school district. Make yourself aware of how other schools in your district or neighboring districts are set up with technology, as you should fit into the norm. If you think your room is not equipped similarly to others, talk first to your principal and ask for suggestions on how to acquire the items you need. There are often separate budgets set aside for technology. If not, another possibility is to write a grant application. Even though it is time consuming, it could be well worth your efforts. Students in your school may be assigned Chromebooks or iPads, or the school may have a cart of computers that can be wheeled into your room when needed. It is then feasible to offer your students digital art lessons. Again, the projector will allow you to introduce the lesson and show steps from your computer (see Chapter 10).

EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT Take care of equipment in order to keep from constantly replacing it. Simple supplies such as scissors and erasers are frequently borrowed and not returned, and you may find it necessary to “sign out” borrowed equipment. Cutting knives can be kept blade down in a Styrofoam block, but we recommend for safety purposes that these be kept in a locked cabinet and checked out only as needed. Never allow them to leave your classroom.




STUDENT NOTEBOOKS Middle school and even elementary art teachers sometimes purchase pre-punched copy paper and clear plastic-fronted three-ring binders for their art students. These are normally kept in the room. Students are requested to date and keep their thumbnail sketches. Another option is for students to make a copy paper journal for entries, notes, sketches, handouts, homework, and small works-in-progress in their notebooks. The first project of the year can be a front cover for the notebook.

STORING ARTWORK Works-in-progress are often wet and messy, and must go on a drying rack, the hall floor, or a corner of the room until they dry. When dry enough to handle, two-dimensional works can be stored in class drawers or class portfolios. Three-dimensional works can be placed in boxes or trash bags, identified with the classroom teacher’s name.

MAINTAINING PORTFOLIOS Make large portfolios of folded and stapled 28” × 44” tagboards for each class, labeling the portfolio with the teacher’s name for each of your classes. Work can be kept in these portfolios in the art room until it is ready to be taken home or displayed. This allows you to see the progress that a student has made, and you are easily able to select work for displays and exhibitions. Alternatively, a cell phone or classroom digital camera may be used to record each student’s work when it is complete. This digital record allows the student (and parents) to see progress and reinforces the value that you and students place on their artwork.

SIGNING WORK Students may sign their work on the front, but show them how they can inconspicuously print or sign their names next to a subject (such as along an arm or leg of a figure) without detracting from the composition. Or they can use a variation of a color to sign on a lower corner in the front (e.g., use dark green on light green grass).

LABELS Make labels with space for the student name, grade, art teacher, and school. Have these neatly cut, and always ready to attach to any artwork that is displayed. For a uniform display, have students fill them out with black ink from a Sharpie marker.

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DISPLAYING STUDENT WORK OUTSIDE THE ART ROOM Try to keep several examples of a project for end-of-year displays, making sure that you have at least one thing from every student. One way to let all students see that their work is valued is to display the work of every student, not selecting just a few of the “best.” If the artwork is arranged with the more eye-catching compositions on the outsides and near the middle, even so-so work takes on importance. It is also very effective to make a placard to place with a group of similar projects to explain what was learned (ask the students, they will tell you). Use available walls and counters around the school or in the library for display. Displays in community, school, or district art exhibits and websites, as well as state art exhibitions, all offer opportunities to showcase your students’ work. One general guideline to keep in mind is that the farther away from the art room, the higher the quality of the work should be. Most artwork can be enhanced with matting, even if the display is as simple as centering the work on a colored piece of construction paper. Remember to always put a tag with the student’s name on or beside the work. MATTING STUDENT ARTWORK Placing a mat on student work enhances and gives it importance. These suggestions are for simple, relatively easy-to-make mats, not archival matting. It is important to teach presentation and mounting skills to students from the earliest years. They can learn that mats must be kept clean and that artwork must be centered. Materials: poster board, metal ruler, construction paper, pencil, masking tape, markers, matboard, utility or craft knife Personalize Purchased Mats Mats are available for bulk purchase in white, black, or colors. 1. Use a metal yardstick and wide-nib marker to draw a line in a color related to the artwork around the outer and inner edges of a purchased white mat. 2. Have students mount their pictures in a purchased mat or on construction paper and “continue” the composition onto the mat. 3. Double-mount work by using a purchased white mat and cut a colored piece of construction paper that will show 0.25” on the inside and 0.25” on the outside of the mat. Or simply place the matted picture on construction paper. Things to Keep in Mind 1. Colored work is effective with a mat in a related color, even if it is just a single line drawn with a marker on a white mat, or a double-mounted artwork. 2. Neutral media—such as black-and-white photos, pencil, charcoal, and ink—look better mounted on neutral mats (gray, black, brown).




3. The mat should be 2–3” wide on all sides (but the bottom may be slightly wider if you wish). 4. Display several small, non-matted works together on a single large sheet of construction paper to set them apart. Cutting a Mat 1. If the paper or matboard used for matting is not the appropriate size, cut the outside dimension of the mat on a paper cutter. 2. Measure the artwork and make the mat opening 0.25” smaller in both height and width. 3. On the back of the mat, hold a long ruler diagonally from corner to corner and make a small “X” in the center. 4. From the center of the mat, mark the size of the opening on all four sides of the back. Either measure in from the edges and draw a straight line or use a T-square to mark where you will cut. 5. Hold a metal ruler steady and, starting at a corner, cut along the edge several times, making sure to cut slightly past the corner so the inside will fall out. 6. After cutting the mat, place masking tape on the back edges of the artwork, allowing the tape to extend over the edge. Turn it over and center the mat above the front of the artwork before placing it firmly down. 7. Turn both artwork and mat over and firmly press down the edges of the tape.

CLEANUP Many art rooms have a single sink. If at all possible, avoid having young students wash their brushes or hands at the sink. Younger students can put paint brushes in a tall container for later washing by an older student helper or the teacher. Sponges may be used by students to wipe tables, but some teachers prefer moistened wipes for hand and table washing. If students washed their hands, they can use the damp paper towel on which they’ve dried their hands to clean the table.

DISMISSAL Give ample warning about the end of the period. Take advantage of every teaching minute you have, using the last five to do or talk about something special.

NEW ART MATERIALS Vendors attend state and national conventions and have some of the finest art educators in the country demonstrating how to use new materials. Even young students can be told that

CHAPTER TWO: Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty

they are using very special materials, and that care must be taken in putting them back in the box to help make them last. If they mistreat new boxes of materials, then these should be put away and the old ones brought back out.

RECYCLING Art teachers are natural scavengers. They use things from nature and were into recycling long before it became fashionable. Notes sent home to parents often result in marvelous things being sent into the classes. Of course, you must be prepared to store all the donations or use them quickly. Clear plastic storage boxes with lids and stackable drawers can be labeled with marker on the front so students can locate their own supplies. Some towns have organized recycling centers for teachers, where, for a slight fee, out-throws from factories—such as foam sheeting, buttons, plastic yardage, lace, newsprint roll centers, fabric, centers from fabric bolts, carpet tubes, and so on—are available for teachers. If your town doesn’t have one of these centers, why not get together a group of teachers (or parents) and organize one!

USE A SEATING CHART FOR ALL GRADE LEVELS This will help both you and the students. Remind them that the purpose is to give each student a seat where they can produce their best work. Its intent is not necessarily to have friends sit together. Also remind them that seats will likely change according to what you observe works the best for their class.

DEVELOP A SIMPLE RULES CHART State the rules positively and post in a prominent place in the room! Keep your rules simple and easily understood by all grade levels you will teach in the room. Be ready to discuss your rules with the class on the first day but know that you will have to bring them back up from time to time. Try not to change your classroom rules. Children thrive with routine. There is a comfort level in knowing that acceptable behaviors will not change. Year-after-year, your students quickly learn what your expectations are.

THINK ABOUT INCLUDING A CALMING CORNER This is simply a small, somewhat secluded area where students can go if they feel they are about to lose self-control. It is best if only one student is in this spot at a time. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Provide quiet activities for the calming corner, such as some art books (they love books that show them how to draw something). The idea is to de-escalate the student. After 3 minutes, they should rejoin the class.




Fostering Creativity Part of your job as an art teacher is to nurture a fertile ground for your students’ creativity.

••Think of what is normal, then encourage changing the normal. ••Give examples of “going outside the box.” ••Be the spark! Show enthusiasm and acceptance for a new spin on your directions. ••Offer suggestions to expand the student’s thoughts. INDIVIDUALISM AND PROBLEM SOLVING Young people build on artistic concepts and skills by review and practice, gaining confidence each year. A blank piece of paper, a lump of clay, or a pile of recycled “treasures” would be intimidating to any artist, but the art teacher (and “liberated student”) sees fresh material as an opportunity to do an original, creative work of art.

ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR A PROJECT TO DEVELOP If materials are simply placed in front of the student with no discussion, it is likely that it would take a long time for much to happen. Try to teach in a manner that will avoid a predictable outcome. If you know in advance what the end result will be, then every individual’s work will be similar, and you haven’t given the student the chance to consider possibilities and come up with a personal solution. Sometimes allowing a project to develop over several class periods gives students opportunities to develop an idea that will give a remarkable result.

NEVER DRAW ON A STUDENT’S WORK If you want to show an individual how to do something, draw it with your finger or draw a suggested change on a piece of paper, then throw your paper away. If you draw directly on a student’s artwork it is the same as telling them that their work isn’t good enough.

BE FAIR TO ALL STUDENTS Observe your interactions with all students from time to time to be sure you are being fair to everyone. Try not to allow needy students take a disproportionate share of your class time. All students are entitled to their share of your time—those to whom art comes easily, those to whom nothing comes easily, and those in the middle who may need help but rarely ask for it. If some students have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or IDEA/504 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act/504), follow it exactly to provide a better classroom experience for the student.

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QUIET THINKING TIME When introducing a new lesson, have a quiet thinking interval for students to sketch and plan what they will do. Sometimes writing or drawing on copy paper helps. One colleague teaches students from kindergarten on up to make a preliminary pencil drawing for every project. A notebook allows them to keep track of their previous lessons.

PRAISE WHEN IT IS JUSTIFIED Try to avoid simply telling a student the work is good. If you always say something is wonderful, it will lose its meaning. Instead, praise one aspect of the artwork. Point out something that is especially appealing, such as “You really made an effort to fill the page,” or “I notice that you varied the thickness of your lines,” or “I love how you used these two colors together.”

COMPOSING A BULLETIN BOARD Consider a bulletin board as similar in composition to a billboard or poster. The viewer only has a few seconds to get the impact and the message. If it is too busy, the message simply cannot be absorbed. Plan ahead and have a main element that catches the eye. A few large words and a main element draw in the viewer. The supporting information may be smaller. If you only have small items to use, group them together on one sheet of colored background paper. Try to have larger elements at the bottom in order to keep the composition from looking as if it will fall over. MATERIALS: Posters; roll paper in a variety of colors; construction paper; fadeless paper; cloth; pushpins or staple gun

•• Hints. When you take down a display, place letters and other elements into a tagboard portfolio to keep them flat for reuse. Cut paper into 4” × 6” pieces and cut out the letters by hand, or request that your school purchase a letter-cutting machine. For titles, use questions such as: Who is this artist? Did you know? Can you imagine? Can you explain? Cut geometric and free-form shapes from construction or fadeless paper to place behind artwork. Vary the color scheme when you put up a new display. Suggested Themes

•• Design concepts: Feature one element or principle of art, using large letters and various examples. •• Artist(s) of the month (from history): Select an artist or historical time period to feature each month. Include the artist’s name, reproductions, and biographical information.




•• Seasons: Display artists’ interpretations of summer, fall, winter, and spring. •• Nature: Show different interpretations of the same subject (mountains, animals, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes) by artists from different time periods or cultures. •• Portraiture: Show unique approaches to portraiture by several different artists. •• Crafts: Display photos of crafts such as basketry, ceramics, jewelry, masks, or weaving, or feature the work in several media by artisans of one culture. •• Architecture: Use pictures of local buildings or famous buildings. Identify individual elements of a building such as columns, different roof styles, door or window styles, or differing cultural styles. •• Cultures: Display examples of artwork by such cultures as Native American, Asian, Inuit, African American, Indian, African, Cajun, Mexican, or Hispanic. Make a comparison between the traditional art of one culture and a contemporary artist who is inspired by his or her cultural background. •• Ancient and modern cultures: Include Egyptian, Greek, cave art, German Expressionism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, or Impressionism. •• Careers in art: Students could research famous artists in a variety of art careers (dress, shoe, and interior designers), architects, art educators, illustrators, digital artists, and so on, and feature them on a bulletin board.

The Elements and Principles of Art Art educators talk about the elements of art and principles of design as if artists had always based their work on them. These formal terms used to analyze art have come into use in the relatively recent past, and the terms may be totally unfamiliar in many parts of the world. Today, less emphasis is placed on the elements and principles in teaching, but they continue to offer a structure that bolsters art lessons in all media. Work done by some contemporary artists looks as if it might have been done hundreds of years ago because art traditions have changed very little in that culture over the centuries. Designs were passed down through families or from artist to artist in a system of apprenticeship, or through copying existing artworks. In China, copying the work of an old master is considered a compliment to the master and the tradition. In African carvings and bronzes, stylistic traditions have continued for hundreds of years and might identify a particular region or cultural group. Artists instinctively understood how to create works of art that would be beautiful in their culture, even though these might appear “strange” to people from another culture who lack understanding of the tradition. Contemporary artists from some cultures might continue the tradition, incorporating familiar designs, whereas others show no evidence of a cultural heritage in their artwork.

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MNEMONICS—REMEMBERING THE ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF ART Art teachers often develop a mnemonic (pronounced newmonic)—words strung together that begin with the same first letter—to help students remember the elements and principles of art. Here are mnemonic examples developed by Parkway School District teachers Meg Classe, Peggy Dunsworth, and Marilyn Palmer. REMEMBER THE ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF ART Elements Some














Principles Pretty












Developed by art teachers Meg Classe, Peggy Dunsworth, and Marilyn Palmer, Parkway School D ­ istrict, St. Louis County, Missouri.

Element: Shape Shape has two dimensions—height and width—whereas form has three dimensions: height, width, and depth. Shapes may be enclosed by a line, but some shapes with indistinct edges (such as a cloud) are defined by their inner structure. Geometric shapes appear stronger than free-form shapes. Artists such as Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec recognized the drama that can be created by allowing shape to be the dominant element in a composition.

Figure 2.2   

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Definitions Abstract: shapes that may be based on reality Amorphous: lacking definite form (clouds) Free-form: shapes that are irregular and asymmetrical (oil spills) Geometric: triangles, rectangles, squares, parallelograms, circles, ovals Natural shapes or forms: clouds, water Organic: living organisms such as animals, fish, fowl

Element: Texture Texture in an artwork can be real or implied; you can actually feel it, or it may only be an illusion. Some artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, reveled in real textural emphasis in their paintings by applying paint thickly, whereas others, such as Pablo Picasso, often used pattern in a painting to imply texture. Sculptors use texture effectively by varying smooth and rough areas to call attention to one surface or another. Pattern differs from texture in that it is deliberately repetitive, two-dimensional, and used for decorative purposes. Texture and pattern are terms sometimes used interchangeably.

Figure 2.3 

Definitions Actual texture: bumpy; grainy; pebbly; prickly; rough; slick; smooth; soft; velvety Implied texture: looks like you can feel it, but the appearance is an illusion, such as a pattern

Element: Line Line is the first mark made by a child and is present in most works of art. We see it as we look at the branches of a tree, a plowed field, a road going off into the distance, or the horizon. It is used to describe emotion or thought. The character of a work can be




determined by how thick or thin, close together, or far apart the lines are. Movement and direction, energy, and restfulness can be depicted through the use of line, which is often used to lead the eye to the main subject in a work of art.

Figure 2.4 

Definitions Style: angular; bent; bold; blurred; broken; continuous; converging; crisscross; curved; delicate; dynamic; expressive; flowing; heavy; implied; interrupted; long; meandering; parallel; radiating; rhythmic; scribble; short; spiral; static; straight; thick; thin; wavy; zigzag Direction: diagonal; horizontal; vertical Methods: contour; outline of a subject with a single line Gesture: many rapidly drawn lines of a subject Cross-hatched: closely drawn lines in more than one direction

Element: Color If colors were not so important to children, their clothing would be neutral; their toys, bland; and their paintings, subdued. Instead, most children love brightly colored clothing, and they paint with bright pure color. Young children are far less concerned with “realism” in color, selecting what appeals to them.

Figure 2.5 

Color-related terms: bright; calm; cool; dark; dull; intense; light; loud; quiet; strong tranquil warm; weak

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Definitions Cool colors: blue, violet, green—appear to recede Warm colors: red, yellow, orange—appear to advance Intensity: brightness or dullness of a color Neutral colors: white, black, gray, tan Primary colors in pigment: red, blue, yellow Primary colors in the light spectrum: magenta, cyan, yellow Shade: black added to a pure hue Tint: the pure hue with white added Value: lightness and darkness of the hue Modeling: showing roundness by varying values of one hue

Element: Space Space is the area that surrounds a form in three-dimensional art and surrounds a shape in two-dimensional art. Artists consciously use space, organizing their work through techniques that make the painting appear to project outward to the viewer, or almost appear to draw the viewer inward. Renaissance artists organized their artwork with geometric forms such as rectangles, triangles, and circles, or used formal perspective. Artists sometimes add drama in compositions through the use of open space, or by organizing the work within a frame or box such as a window. Sculptors consider the space that surrounds and is within the sculpture to be an important element of the design.

Figure 2.6 

Definitions Actual space: the space that can be measured Aerial perspective: areas farther away are lighter Background: the area farthest away Figure–ground relationship: figure (form) is distinct from the ground




Foreground: the area closest to the viewer Foreshortening: the illusion that the form projects outward Gradient: gradual change in value indicating distance Linear perspective: a geometric means of organizing space Middle ground: the area between the foreground and background Negative space: the area surrounding a form Picture plane: the flat space defined by height and width Positive shapes: forms that are drawn or constructed Projecting form: an object actually projects outward Shallow: no actual depth or illusion of depth Three-dimensional: the object has height, width, and depth Two-dimensional: the object has height and width Vanishing point: lines meet on the horizon at this point How the Illusion of Space Is Done in Art Aerial perspective (gradation): objects in the distance become lighter Detail: objects in the distance have less detail Linear perspective: vanishing point(s) show accurate size changes Overlapping: objects in front are closer Size changes: objects in the distance become smaller Value differences: sky and ground (or water) nearer the horizon are lighter Vertical location: objects higher in a painting are smaller and farther away

Element: Value Value describes variations of a hue, ranging from the lightest to the darkest. An example of value that does not involve color would be a black-and-white photograph with a range of grays in between. A monochromatic composition would incorporate different values of the same hue, whereas a composition with a variety of colors would still have some dark values and some light values. Value can even be seen in a one-color object, such as sculpture, through noticing differences in depth and texture. Artworks of all kinds utilize value to lend emphasis, contrast, or balance to the composition.

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Figure 2.7 

Definitions Aerial perspective: change in value indicating distance Chiaroscuro: light and dark areas in a composition Contrasting values: differences in dark and light Grayscale: tones ranging from lightest to darkest Monochromatic: different values and variations of one hue Tonal gradient: subtle changes in value Value scale: a means of showing differences in value Ways to Show Differences in Value Blending: making soft transitions from light to dark Cross-hatching: intersecting sets of parallel lines Gradation: a gradual darkening from light to dark Hatching: making parallel lines close together or far apart Shading (modeling): showing roundness by darkening edges Stippling: making dots to create light and dark areas

Element: Form Form has three dimensions: height, width, and depth. Unlike a painting, it extends into space, even if one side of it lies flat on a wall. This is called a bas-relief (French for “lowrelief ”). Traditional bas-reliefs include the Gates of Paradise, the doors of the Cathedral of Pisa, Italy. A bronze bas-relief example would be Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell. Other examples of bas-relief would include things like medals or textured sculptures. Painter Frank Stella began with normal two-dimensional painting. In later years, his paintings have become sculpture—still hanging on walls in a museum, yet with cut pieces of metal that extend beyond the surface as much as 12”.




Figure 2.8 

Definitions Natural forms: rocks, leaves, shells Abstract forms: they do not resemble anything in reality Portrait: it may be an entire figure made to resemble someone Positive space: the sculpture itself Negative space: the space outside and through open areas of the sculpture Portrait bust: a three-dimensional head and (sometimes) shoulders Nude: an unclothed sculpture of the human figure Mass: a large body of indefinite shape Bas-relief: a sculpture that is flat on one side and three dimensional on the other

Principle of Design: Pattern A pattern is created by the repetition of similar elements such as shapes, lines, or color, and can be used to give an implied texture to a composition. Familiar patterns are waves, Greek Keys, spirals, dots, and grids. Patterns such as checkerboards or wallpapers can be boring unless relieved by some variation in color or by making an emphasis in one area. Rhythm can be seen when patterns are arranged in a way to move the eye through the composition.

Figure 2.9 

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Definitions Pattern: the systematic use of line or motif Broken pattern: a pattern might have interruptions, yet the eye tends to complete it Irregular patterns: a broken pattern may help the viewer notice a change Natural patterns: found on animals, in snowflakes, leaves, rocks, shells Random pattern: groups of similar motifs arranged randomly Rhythm: the use of pattern to create movement Tessellation: the interlocking of shapes in an overall pattern Zentangles: a line drawing on paper, filled in with black-and-white drawn patterns

Principle: Balance Balance is the equilibrium of the forms used in a composition and is achieved by giving equal weight on both sides of a composition. Formal (symmetrical) balance often results in a static composition, whereas informal (asymmetrical) balance is somewhat livelier. The upper and lower halves of a composition should also be considered when thinking of balance, with weight somewhat heavier on the lower half of an artwork to keep it from appearing to fall forward.

Figure 2.10 

Definitions Formal (symmetrical) balance: if the composition were folded in half, both halves would be equal Informal (asymmetrical) balance: one side dominates, but balance is still achieved Quadrilateral symmetry: four quarters of the composition are similar Radial symmetry: similar elements radiate from a central point




Principle: Emphasis The principle of emphasis is used to focus attention in a composition. It may be an isolated form, or the largest, brightest, or darkest area. Attention can be drawn to the focal point by convergence of lines that sets one part apart from the others (as in da Vinci’s The Last Supper); textural interest; or contrast between light and shade. Contrast in color or dynamic lines causes the viewer to look at that place. The theory of domination–­ subordination is that one portion of a composition is the major focal point, with subordinate areas being complementary to it. In general, a composition is more interesting if the area of emphasis is not in the center, but rather placed to the left or right (sometimes at the intersection of lines in a tic-tac-toe grid).

Figure 2.11 

Definitions Center of interest: the area of main interest; usually not in the center Contrast: the center of interest is indicated by being lighter or darker Converging lines: lines may be used to direct attention to the focal point Dominant: the major element of a composition Focal point: the first thing the eye sees when viewing an artwork Isolation: one form is set apart from others Rule of thirds: an imaginary tic-tac-toe grid, with the main subject placed at an intersection Subordinate: elements that repeat or complement the dominant form

Principle: Variety Variety is difference. Looking at a repetitious pattern such as a checkerboard without any change at all causes the viewer to move on to the next picture. If any one element or principle—such as line, shape, color, value, and pattern—is used exclusively, the composition will be monotonous. A good composition includes enough variety such as line

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to lead the eye to the focal point (emphasis). Movement of color or pattern causes the viewer to look through the entire composition, going back and forth to see how effectively repetition is used. If there is too much variety, one doesn’t know where the artist wanted you to look.

Figure 2.12 

Definitions Ways to show variety: juxtapose and contrast different elements; vary the size of shapes; show differences and contrast in color or value; lines can be straight or curvy; textures can be real or imagined; variations of space allow the eye to rest.

Principle: Movement Movement can be established in a composition through the repeated or alternating use of an element or motif. The eye can be led through an artwork to a center of interest (emphasis) by lines, color, or the illusion of space. It is sometimes the lightest or darkest area of a painting. Movement, like music, isn’t necessarily smooth, but made interesting by its variety.

Figure 2.13 

Definitions Pattern: the systematic use of motif or line Random pattern: groups of similar motifs arranged randomly Rhythm: the use of pattern to create movement Tessellation: the interlocking of shapes in an overall pattern




Principle: Contrast The design principle of contrast is used to bring a work of art to life. Contrast refers to differences that separate one form from another. This is usually accomplished by intensity of hue, the use of complementary colors, or changes in value. The eye tends to see forms as darker or lighter, larger or smaller, depending on the background used.

Figure 2.14 

Definitions Types of contrast: abstract/realistic; bumpy; grainy; pebbly; prickly; rough; slick; smooth; soft; velvety Simultaneous contrast: optical illusions caused by size, intensity, and placement of colors Variety: similar to contrast in that it deals with differences

CHAPTER TWO: Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty

National Coalition for Core Art Standards The National Art Education Association (NAEA) has been working with the National Coalition for Core Art Standards (NCCAS) for some years to revise all arts standards, including visual arts and media arts standards. Although state assessment systems by law annually test students in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science (because of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), fine arts are not yet required to be tested. If you live in the USA, check to see if yours is one of the many states that has elected to write their own grade-level expectations in fine arts. Art educators can find current information at the following URL, which will take you to the NAEA website, where you can learn more about the NCCAS and find the publication that they issued in March 2018. The Standards are a process that guides educators in providing a unified quality arts education for students in Pre-K through high school. national-visual-arts-standards CREATING Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. Anchor Standard #2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Anchor Standard #3. Refine and complete artistic work.

PRESENTING Anchor Standard #4. Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation. Anchor Standard #5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation. Anchor Standard #6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

RESPONDING Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work. Anchor Standard #8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. Anchor Standard #9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

CONNECTING Anchor Standard #10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding. The Standards in Action Planning Sheets that follow were developed by Dr. Marilyn Stewart, a member of the National Art Education Committee, which helped to develop the standards. Because of lack of space, these three grade levels were selected as examples.




MARILYN STEWART Standards in Action Planning Sheet, Lower Elementary, Grade 1. Developed for the National Art Education Association by Dr. Marilyn D. Stewart, and printed with permission from the National Art Education Association.


CHAPTER TWO: Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty

MARILYN STEWART Standards in Action Planning Sheet, Upper Elementary, Grade 4. Developed for the National Art Education Association by Dr. Marilyn D. Stewart, and printed with permission from the National Art Education Association.





MARILYN STEWART Standards in Action Planning Sheet, Middle Level, Grade 7. Developed for the National Art Education Association by Dr. Marilyn D. Stewart, and printed with permission from the National Art Education Association.


CHAPTER TWO: Day-to-Day Survival Skills—The Nitty-Gritty

Assessment AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT The art teacher can offer authentic assessment (real evidence of real learning) by building assessment methods into the lesson or a unit, reflecting the relationship between lesson plan objectives and evaluation strategies. Students should be told what they are expected to learn, and instruction given with that in mind. The evaluation is then based on how well the students met the objectives. The assessment should be manageable and appropriate for the age group. Older students often do self-assessment.

PORTFOLIOS A student portfolio may be started in the primary grades. As students advance, they may become more selective about what is kept in the portfolio. Portfolios record the creative process by including preliminary sketches, providing a way for teacher, parent, and student to evaluate continued growth. Personal discussion with students about their portfolios is ideal, but if this is not feasible, students can do a written self-evaluation about which they think is their best work, and why. Alternatively, a written comparison could be made ­between work done early in the year and later work.

JOURNALS OR SKETCHBOOKS, SELF-ASSESSMENT Student journals (three-ring loose-leaf binders are excellent) give students the opportunity to react to art through writing and drawing. Middle school teacher Judy Cobillas of the Clayton School District, St. Louis County, had her students use their notebook–­journals to include writing, sketches, and critiques of their own art and historical examples. A standard reflection page was photocopied for students to occasionally turn in, containing questions about their own work based on a medium or technique, and what the student was ­trying to show.

CRITIQUING STUDENT WORK Discussion about student work-in-progress is very effective, especially if it is a lesson that continues another day. At the elementary level, students generally have art once a week. With a long time between classes, it helps bring the focus back to the objectives. Beginning the class period by showing exemplary student examples of various steps is very effective. Also, while they are working, stopping the class to look at a piece you hold up for all to see while you “brag on the artist” is a great motivator. Both techniques work well at all grade levels. This is another reason to never allow students to throw away their work. Tell them you may need it as an example for next year’s students who might do the same project.




A shoulder-to-shoulder discussion is another way of handling a critique without taking too much class time. Without students getting out of their seats, they should work with someone sitting next to them to ask for improvement suggestions. This short activity only needs about a minute of class time and allows students to help each other. A formal critique done with all students’ work hanging on a wall is more time consuming, and therefore works best with grades 6–8. Since you and the students would try to talk about each piece of artwork, the students must have a longer attention span. It may work well with one class and not with another at the same grade level. As you work with your students, you will get a feel for what works best with each class.

RUBRIC OR SCORING GUIDE There are many ways to assess student artwork. In general, it becomes more necessary at the middle school level to show how you arrive at the grade that you assign for grade reports. Be sure to communicate well how points will be achieved as the lesson progresses. A self-evaluation before the teacher evaluation is another helpful tool to encourage students to reflect on their work.


Art History

Introduction—The Big Eleven Elementary and middle school art specialists have a general understanding that, by the end of eighth grade, students should recognize and remember the artwork and names of close to a dozen famous artists of various art periods—such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Rousseau, Georgia O’Keeffe, Henri Matisse, Faith Ringgold, and Roy Lichtenstein. Students love to look at pictures, but also enjoy finding out about the family lives of famous artists—the human side, and what these artists might have been like as young persons.

INCLUDE VARIOUS CULTURES AND TIME PERIODS IN WHAT YOU TEACH Although the entire range of art history and the whole world of art would be of interest to students, it is all too easy for the teacher to rely on favorite periods, such as the Impressionist era, or cultures, such as Egyptian or Native American. Most art teachers try to include art history in a lesson, but too often this is omitted for lack of time. Some schools recommend the introduction of new artists and cultures at each grade level to encourage students to build on what they already know. Great books, magazines, and art museum websites about artists have been created especially for children, emphasizing things about artists that they enjoy learning. Magazines for teachers such as Arts & Activities, SchoolArts Magazine, and Scholastic Art—the Art Magazine for Grades 7–12 are filled with suggestions for art projects and contain background information about the artists. Art museum websites are treasure troves of information and contain high-quality images. Most museums make a sincere effort to make copies of their works readily accessible to teachers through web pages, poster reproductions, and videos.




American Gothic, Grant Wood, American, 1930, Oil on Beaver Board, 30¾” × 25¾”, Friends of American Art Collection, Chicago Art Institute

Bring Art History to Life Obviously, real museum visits are ideal. Well-developed docent programs encourage young people to un-self-consciously talk about what they see. Tell students that they are right now living in a “time period” where newsworthy things are happening in our current culture, not only in visual art and architecture, but also in literature, music, politics, and science. The purpose is to demonstrate that the artwork seen in a given time period did not occur independently but reflects the culture of the time. Each timeline is followed by suggestions for so-called art projects that were developed during the time range shown in the list’s title. Until the Middle Ages, no one would have considered things like church decorations, pottery, or weaving as art projects, but as items that were used for ordinary day-to-day living activities, such as cooking (pots), sleeping, working (grain baskets), dancing (to gods in many cultures), wedding finery, or decorating homes and places of worship. These objects have been appreciated and saved over thousands of years, and most have ended up in art museums or are visited where they originated (e.g., cave paintings may be seen by going underground to visit them).


Timeline 1: 30,000 BC–AD




ART PROJECTS FOR INTEGRATED LEARNING, TIMELINE # 1: 30,000 BC–AD 1 Cave paintings. Students can use brown paper or cardboard as “cave walls” to paint animals and stamp each individual’s handprints. When completed, darken the windows and turn out the lights, using flashlights to offer a “cave tour” to other classes. Cave brushes. Have students make natural paintbrushes as used by cave dwellers, such as sticks, reeds, animal hair tied to a stick, or yucca flattened on one end. Petroglyphs. Petroglyphs may be made by making a palm-sized round of clay, then flattening it, and incising animals or symbols on it with a pencil. Two colors of clay can be slightly mixed to make it even more rock-like. Tutankhamun. Have students make a “collar” such as those worn by Egyptian pharaohs, using found objects only. These can be attached with string or glued onto an oval paper or cloth collar. Language Arts Rosetta Stone. This translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics into Greek was an enormous discovery. Have students make a modern Rosetta Stone by writing text abbreviations they use today while texting each other and translating them into language their grandparents could understand. Math Pyramid. Have students measure and make a paper pyramid. Before folding the paper, they can use a colored pencil or marker to create “stone” shapes on the outsides. Have them put “secret” hieroglyphic messages inside. Science Stone circles. Students should research Stonehenge and other stone circles. Have them arrange small rocks to make a stone circle that could help in understanding the Solstice and Equinox celebrations of ancient and modern Druids. Social Studies First Olympics. Have students create a design for Olympic medals, choosing a favorite sport. Or they can interpret their designs on tooling foil.


Timeline 2: AD 1–1150




ART PROJECTS FOR INTEGRATED LEARNING, TIMELINE # 2: AD 1–1150 Cultures Chinese scroll painting. Each student can paint a favorite place for a horizontal Chinese landscape scroll. This can be affixed at each end around a dowel or stick. Discuss Chinese painting and its relationship to nature. Play appropriate music while students paint. Language Arts Arabic illuminated manuscripts. The Arabic culture also featured illuminated (painted) manuscripts. Students who wish to draw in this style could use geometric motifs, arabesques (intricately curved lines), floral motifs, or decorative calligraphy. Math Colosseum. This “small group” project could challenge students to design a modern stadium for their favorite sport, as the Romans did with the Colosseum. Show them how to use a ruler and compass for straight and curved shapes. Have them make a tagboard model in any shape such as circular, rectangular, elliptical, or horseshoe (oval, open at one end). They can use rolled tagboard columns if needed for added support. Music Paint to the music. Georgia O’Keeffe was a famous artist who loved to paint to music. She said the colors and the rhythm in the painting seemed to her how the music sounded. Have students listen to a musical selection of their choice, interpreting it by painting. Social Studies Norman conquest of England. The 230’-long by 20”-high Bayeux Tapestry is the first needlework whose creators’ names are known. Queen Matilda, the wife of William the Conqueror, and the women of her court designed and embroidered it. It was made after 1066 to commemorate the Battle of Hastings. Each student could draw an 8” × 11” section of a commemorative accordion-fold book related to an event they are currently studying. Mount these on roll paper and display this “paper tapestry” around the room.


Timeline 3: 1150–1650




ART PROJECTS FOR INTEGRATED LEARNING, TIMELINE # 3: 1150–1650 Cultures People pots. The Incas, among others, shaped vessels to look like people. They sometimes put facial features opposite the handle on a pitcher. Students could do this in clay as the Incas did, or draw a “person pot” on tan paper. Language Arts Invention of the printing press. Have students stamp their names on a book with alphabet letters made from 1”-square art gum erasers. Math Pi day. Make pi memorable by having a celebration. March 14 (3–14) is the day it is now celebrated in several cities (this is also Einstein’s birthday). Invite students to eat pie, calculate the area of a pizza, do a rap to pi, test who can remember the most digits of pi, or make designs using either the symbol or the numerals in 3.1416. Or go onto a Pi Day activities website for some great activities. Science Astrology. Although not a science, the study of the impact of moon and sun positions on humans, and astrological symbols, have fascinated cultures throughout the centuries. Have students select their astrological “symbol” and draw it to fit on an 8½” × 11” piece of paper. Social Studies Immigration. Ask students to find out how long ago one of their family members emigrated from the country in which he or she was born to where the family now lives. Have them think of some symbols that might represent their “mother country,” and then do a self-portrait using some of those symbols. Mesa Verde Cliff Palace. This fascinating ruin of AD 1190–1300 housed the Anasazi people. Their homes, granaries, and worship sites (round rooms called kivas) were built into the side of a cliff. Small cardboard replicas of individual structures could be assembled to make a model of Cliff Palace. Students can spray-paint the entire structure in pink or beige to closely resemble the original.


Timeline 4: 1650–1900




ART PROJECTS FOR INTEGRATED LEARNING, TIMELINE # 4: 1650–1900 Cultures Japanese woodcuts. Students can make a linoleum cut and print of nature, as the Japanese have done in the past. It could be a single tree, flower, or landscape. If you prefer, a material such as PrintFoam can have a pencil-drawn design and be printed. Language Arts Imaginary places. Have students draw a fantasy land (as Gulliver found), where everything is tiny or very large, or peopled with characters from a videogame. They can write or tell the class a story about their visit to this place. Math Ground plan. Students can then draw a diagram of the room on graph paper based on their measurements. Science Animal classifications. A discussion of fictional animals, those in cartoons or films, could involve students before studying real animals. Students in a small group can make drawings of a category such as flying animals, animals with hair, reptiles, extinct animals, animals that live in your region, insects, birds, or fish. Social Studies Coins. Have students design a coin for your state or city. It must be round, and should have symbols of well-known people, animals, monuments, or landmarks in your state. They should design both sides and make up a slogan.


Timeline 5: 1900–Present




ART PROJECTS FOR INTEGRATED LEARNING, TIMELINE # 5: 1900–PRESENT Egypt. Initiate Egyptian-influenced projects based on the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 (mummy mask, students’ initials in hieroglyphics). Asian panda paintings or drawings. Suggest students draw or paint pandas in their habitats to commemorate panda births of this endangered species. Language Arts Alphabet book. Students can make one page of an alphabet book using a letter they have chosen. Have them find three things that begin with that letter to draw on the page. (This could be a computer assignment.) Biography. Ask each student to interview an older person in his or her family or neighborhood. Have them write a small book with information they have gathered. They can also draw or paint a picture of an event in the person’s life. Math Tessellations. Direct students in creating tessellation drawings in the manner of MC Escher. Science Be an inventor.  Ask students to dream of an invention. They should think of something that bugs them because it doesn’t work. They can find a way to improve the nonworking object, or they can invent something they see a need for that doesn’t exist. Direct them to write about or make a model of something completely new. Social Studies Flag project. Have students use acrylics to paint flags of various countries to be stapled to ceiling tiles of the classroom.

Using Art Images Vary the study of art history and appreciation by using a variety of visual images: posters, videos, books, and digital presentations of artwork from the Internet. A collection of art prints can be built up over a period of time that can be used as examples for students. Buy prelaminated sets or have the school laminate any that you purchase. Change displays frequently to keep students interested. Images that can be accessed by the artist’s name on the computer are generally very good and can be printed out in color on 8½” × 11” Brochure and Flyer paper (inexpensive glossy print papers).


Students like to share what they can figure out by looking, even if they know nothing about an artist. Ask them nonthreatening questions (that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”) about what they see. It may be easier for you to discuss a work of art that has a recognizable subject, but young people also enjoy looking at work that is pure color or line— not one item in it that could really be described as a thing. And sometimes just looking and talking about it is all you need to do.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST Divide students into small groups to look at and compare two art reproductions from a specific culture, such as early Native American/contemporary Native American, Hispanic/ Hispanic American, Asian/Asian American, or African/African American. The students should be looking for similarities and differences. The results of these discussions could be shared with the class.

GALLERY WALK Ideally this could be done in a museum, but because students rarely are able to go to a museum, make a “Gallery” in your room or in the hall by hanging posters at intervals all the way around. Before beginning this activity, it would be helpful for you to stand in front of one painting and demonstrate a short analysis for the students.

TALKING ABOUT ART Divide the class into groups of three or four. Assign a number to each group and put numbers above each reproduction equal to the number of groups. Ask each group to station itself in front of the reproduction with “its” number. Tell the students that each group member must say something about the painting, so they have to decide who will talk about one individual aspect such as color, line, subject, repetition, emphasis, and so on. Give the group a few minutes to talk about things they notice about the artwork. When you say “Walk,” the group moves on to the next painting, continuing until the group has visited several. If the situation is comfortable enough, ask students to remain in front of the last artwork they analyzed and share what their group observed in that painting. Then ask students from other groups that analyzed the same painting if they saw something that wasn’t mentioned. In talking about artwork, effective criticism generally follows this order—description: stating exactly what is seen; medium; subject; colors; design; analysis: formal evaluation of the elements and principles used, and the personal style of the artist; judgment or evaluation: originality, craftsmanship; how the artwork causes you to react; artistic and aesthetic merit; interpretation: what you think the artist might have meant; what it means to you; what influence the artist’s environment might have had on the work.





••What is in the background? ••What do you think the artist was trying to say (interpretation)? How do you feel about the artwork (judgment)? ••What emotion does this artwork make you feel? ••Would you purchase this artwork if money were not an issue? Why or why not? ••What are some objects you see in this artwork? ••What colors do you see here? ••What are some objects from nature? ••Could you create a story from what you see in the picture? ••What shapes are repeated (circles, squares, and so on)? ••What title would you give this picture? ••What do you think the artist is telling you in this picture? ••What time of day do you think it is? Why? ••How did the artist show the time of day? ••What medium (watercolor? charcoal? oil?) do you think is used? ••Do you know anything about the artist? ••Do you think a museum might like to purchase this picture? Why? ••What kinds of things belong in a museum? ••What kind of music does this picture make you remember?

TALKING ABOUT ART: A GALLERY EXPERIENCE These questions are just ways to help students feel it non-threatening to say something. Pick and choose from the following questions that you know your students might respond to. Ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going.

A Real Museum Visit Preparing students for an actual museum or gallery visit is worth the time it takes. Use the museum’s website or its catalogue to find information about specific artworks or an exhibit or area that you plan to see.

VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES Most museums will assign knowledgeable teachers (docents) who are skilled in presenting the material for students’ enjoyment. To prepare your students for a real museum visit,


post a single, large artwork reproduction for them to observe (this could be a poster, a photo from an online resource, or an object from the museum’s collection that is found on their website). When students respond, this offers you the opportunity to respond by repeating the student’s question, perhaps asking “What do you see that makes you think that?” There are many questions you can ask, but here are some that seem to elicit sensitive responses from students. What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? The docent may ask if someone else has a different idea, and why. The idea is to try to get them to seriously look, think, and wonder, keeping the conversation with the students going. If you have encouraged students to give their opinions about art, you are likely to be amazed at their perception.

AESTHETICS CONVERSATIONS Aesthetics, the “philosophy” of art, is sometimes called “the art of the beautiful.” Consider how the idea of “beauty” changes over a relatively short time period. As an example, talk with students about how hair styles, shoes, or even the shapes of pants’ legs have been transformed over the years. As they examine those things created by artists, help students identify such principles of design as proportion, exaggeration, function, form, simplicity, and classicism. Aesthetics questions rarely have specific answers because of the changing tastes of society, but they do get students to talk about preferences, which can lead to some interesting ideas. When leading discussions, try not to ask your questions in such a way that you will get just a “yes” or “no” answer. Follow up answers with “Why do you think that?” or “Is there someone else here who agrees (or disagrees) with that answer?” Here are a few sample aesthetics questions:

••Can something ugly be art? Give me an example. ••Can something such as a manufactured t-shirt be considered art? Why? ••Which automobile do you think has the best design? Why? ••Why do you think one artist becomes famous and another one does not? ••Is one work of art better than another if it costs more? ••If you exactly copy something from a magazine, could you feel that you have created an original artwork? Why or why not? ••Do we have to know what the artist was thinking to appreciate the art? If not, why not? ••Can you think of something that might improve the design of this work of art?




Writing with Art To get students in the habit of writing reflectively about art, you could have them keep a journal in which they would write for a few minutes each time they come in the classroom. You might ask them to write about a painting reproduction that is shown on a whiteboard or pinned on the wall. Although you are interested in what they are writing, and perhaps read their journals occasionally, this is not the place to worry much about spelling and punctuation, but rather about content. Suggest that they:

••Write a letter to an artist. Ask questions about the artwork. ••Describe an abstract work of art in writing. ••Look at a photograph or painting and write about the “sounds” you hear in the

background ••Give a different title to an artwork than what the artist chose. Write why they would call it this. ••Write a conversation between two characters seen in a work of art.

DRAW AN ARTWORK FROM A DESCRIPTION Have one student be the describer of a work of art in a reproduction. This student is the only one who will actually see what the artwork looks like. The other students must draw a picture (on photocopy paper) based on a verbal description. Ten questions may be asked of the describer that must be answered “yes” or “no.”

TRIVIA: MIX AND MATCH Using artists with whom you know students are familiar, write the names of famous artists and their most famous artworks in two nonmatching columns. Students can draw a line from the artist to the title.

CONVERSATIONS WITH A DRAWING No talking is allowed in this exercise. Two persons face each other with a pencil, sharing one piece of paper and communicating with each other through drawing. One person makes a mark, and the partner continues on the same line, making a responding mark. This would of necessity be a relatively short conversation. When they have sufficiently covered the page with alternating marks (taking five minutes or fewer), suggest they work together with crayon, marker, or colored pencil to develop this “conversation” into an abstract work of art by filling in empty spaces.


Writing Poetry About Art Students love to write poetry, but getting started is always difficult. The diamante (so called because of its shape) is a good icebreaker. Tape several posters in front of the class, then have students write a diamante poem about one of them. If you ask for volunteers to read their poetry, most are eager to do so, and the other students try to guess which poster was written about. This is particularly effective with Impressionists’ work. Students should know that many poets have written about works of art that have moved them, and that artists sometimes like to write about their own art. Following are examples of the diamante form and other styles of poetry that may serve as models to encourage student writing. Some other poetry styles such as haiku, cinquain, free verse, limerick, or acrostic inspire students into writing about art.

DIAMANTE # 1 The name diamante describes the shape of this poem. Writing about art in a studio class may not yield a true interpretation of the diamante that an English class might inspire, but the diamond shape of the poem does. One-word descriptive equivalent: Action phrase: Simile: Summation (one word):

Woman smiling mysteriously as if to keep her secrets forever Mona

DIAMANTE # 2 This larger diamante must have seven lines, with two subjects, using the language parts seen in the column on the left One noun (first subject): Two adjectives: Three verbs (-ing words):

Sky dark, starry swirling, shining, moving

Four nouns (second subject):

mountains, hills, town, cypresses,

Three verbs (second subject):

glowing, concealing, revealing

Two adjectives: One noun:

quiet, silent night




BIO-POEM A bio-poem is a short biography about the life of someone. Line 1: first name


Line 2: four traits

volatile, impulsive, compulsive, eccentric

Line 3: related to

his friends, painters all

Line 4: cares deeply about

painting sunlight, moonlight, color, motion

Line 5: who feels

lost, in pain

Line 6: who needs

friends, money, respect

Line 7: who gives

everything to his art

Line 8: who fears

being alone

Line 9: who would like to see

his work acclaimed at last

Line 10: resident of

France and the World

FREE VERSE Unless this is an English lesson that also incorporates art, sometimes free verse is easier for students than trying to make a rhyming poem, because it does not have a structure or rules. Students usually ask, “How long does it have to be?” Even though this is not a sonnet, tell them that it must be at least 14 lines, just to get them to work beyond the minimum. Suggest that they look at an abstract work of art by such artists as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Helen Frankenthaler and write a poem about it.

HAIKU Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry, often focused on capturing a moment in nature. Haiku is often structured in three phrases, with five, seven, and five syllables each. Line 1: five syllables Line 2: seven syllables Line 3: five syllables

Butterflies swimming Through the misty morning air With gossamer wings —Melissa Walker


ACROSTIC Expressing research in this type of poetry format is a nonthreatening way for students to learn about artists, as shown in this example about Claude Monet. Proper sentence structure and punctuation are not required. Contributed the name Impressionism Lived outside of Paris Afflicted with cataracts Understood the color wheel Died in 1926 Exhibited many paintings Michel was his youngest son Outdoors was where he liked to paint Nature was his subject Entranced by light The moment was what he sought —Melissa Walker

Curriculum Connections Art teachers are well aware that they teach many things besides art; that although art does have its own curriculum, this curriculum often can be effectively combined with subject matter from other sources. Art projects are used to enrich other subjects but mustn’t take away from the doing and appreciation of ART particularly at the elementary level. Interdisciplinary learning is beneficial to the classroom teacher, the student, and the art teacher. As the art teacher, you can help the students (and their teachers) with projects that serve both art and the subject being studied. Effective art specialists at the elementary level become aware of what students are studying in their regular classes. If you are a classroom teacher or home school educator who also teaches art, try some creative approaches to integrating art in your regular lessons. This eliminates some of the necessity of explaining to students how something is structured. When students measure something, they are using knowledge gained in math. When they write a poem about an artwork, their language arts training is used. If students can make a work of art in the manner of people of a certain country, then it is both an art project and a social studies project. The following text offers suggestions for several interdisciplinary connections. Poetry. Have students select a picture from a magazine or newspaper, and then write a poem about the subject. It could be snow, a field of flowers, a car wreck, or a major storm at the seashore. Emphasize that it isn’t at all necessary to make the lines rhyme. Poetry collection. Suggest to students who particularly enjoy writing poetry that they might keep a collection of their poetry, taking the time to carefully copy each poem onto a single page to go into a three-ring binder (these poems could be typed on the computer),




and adding the date it was composed. They may also choose to decorate it with a small drawing, or they could unify these poems with a border around the edges. Colors. Ask students: “What is your favorite color? What does it make you think of?” Have them describe how they would decorate their room in that color. They could do a painting or marker drawing mostly using that color with a tiny amount of the complementary color (e.g., red and green; purple and yellow; blue and orange; and red–orange and blue–green). Favorite places. Have students draw their favorite place to be (ocean, mountains, their bedroom, in front of the TV). They can write about the time of day it is, and if there are any favorite smells that remind them of that place (fishy smells, pine trees, dirty socks, or popcorn). Daily diary. Ask students to write and draw on one page about what happened to them yesterday. They can draw small figures or faces of themselves and the people they saw (or talked to on the telephone). Maybe they could include in the drawing a pet or a meal they ate. At the very least, have them draw something decorative on their “diary” entry, even a beautiful border. Ancestry portraits. Have students paint a portrait of themselves with family symbols in the background. These symbols might be items that have been in their family for a long time, numbers such as their address, or some objects from a culture that represents a country from which one or more family members immigrated. In-depth interview. Have students make a small booklet about one grandparent, or a person who is a hero to the student–– even their classroom teacher. They should get basic information such as full name, date of birth, names of close relatives such as all their children (and ages), parents, brothers, and sisters. Students should ask questions about the person’s first job, what his or her favorite food (or candy) was as a child, and how that person occupied time: (1) as a child, (2) as a teenager, (3) as a young adult, and what they hope for (4) as a mature adult. This can be an ongoing project over a period of a couple of months. Questions can be asked by mail, telephone, or text, and the book will be more interesting if it includes photocopies of documents such as diplomas, photographs of this person at various ages, and the student’s own drawings to illustrate some of the answers. Shapes and forms. Have students use pencil on paper to change 2D shapes (circles, squares, triangles) to 3D forms (spheres, cubes, pyramids) by shading one side. Scale drawing. Have students use a tape measure or measuring stick to measure where they sleep and the furniture in the room. They can use graph paper to make a scale drawing of the room and furniture (0.5” equals 1’). Have them cut out the furniture and rearrange the room. Personalized check. Have students design a personalized check (while learning how to fill one out). Symmetry. Have them create an Islamic geometric design using symmetry. Trees in season. Ask students to draw the outlines of trees with leaves on them, then identify the trees by shape. Weather. Ask students to listen to a weather report. Have them write what is predicted for the next 5 days. They can make a chart with visual symbols about the predictions, then check the chart to see how accurate the forecast is.


Birds. Ask students to each select one bird to draw and learn about. Have them investigate how that bird’s bill determines what the bird’s diet is. Animals. Have students learn about how some creatures are camouflaged to go with their natural habitat. They can do an environmental drawing, hiding the animal somewhere within the drawing (much as Henri Rousseau did). Inventions. Suggest students invent something they see a need for. Perhaps it is an improvement over something that already exists. They should make a drawing of their proposal for the invention.

Celebrations Art has a curriculum, and a sensitive teacher can find many activities within that curriculum that do not involve teaching about the holidays of only one segment of the population. There is no lack of themes for students. Formerly, art educators and classroom teachers took advantage of monthly calendar celebrations in the American school year for creating artworks. In the diversity of today’s classroom, however, much less emphasis is being put on specific religion-based holidays, because these are not celebrated by everyone and may leave some children on the “outside.” The following material gives something appropriate for each month that is not geared to a particular religious celebration; instead, the themes are based on seasons of the year. Be sure to emphasize new or creative images for each of the following themes. If you have students from other cultures, perhaps one of your students from a different culture would talk about celebrations in his or her country with the rest of the class, and you could add to the list that follows. Avoid cliché images.






Back-to-school clothes Children at play First day of Autumn First day of school Grandparents’ day (first Sunday after Labor Day Labor Day (first Monday) USA Summer vacation

Celebrations around the world First day of Winter National Popcorn Day Packages Winter clothes Winter vacation

Flowers National Arbor Day (Trees) National Library Week Opening of baseball season Rain Secretaries’ Day



Snow sports Super Bowl



Circus Columbus Day Fall flowers and weeds Fire Prevention Week Leaves National School Bus Safety Week People in costume (­carnival) Scarecrows United Nations Day

Groundhog Day People in costume (­carnival) masks

May Day (May 1) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) Flowers Graduation Day Holocaust Remembrance Day Memorial Day Summer sports: swimming, biking, baseball Trees with leaves Zoo

November Bare trees Daylight Saving Time ends Election day (USA) Family gatherings Harvest celebrations, food National Native American Heritage Week Veterans’ Day

March Pi Day (March 15) Daylight Saving Time begins First day of Spring (March 2) National Nutrition Month National Irish Heritage Month Youth Art Month

June First day of Summer Flag Day International Volunteers Week National Fishing Week

April April Fool’s Day (April 1) Baby animals Baby birds Blooming trees Butterflies Earth Day

Summer Activities Amusement park Summer Solstice Unbirthdays (for summer birthdays) Water sports: swimming, water skiing



Introduction Many children, by the time they are of “regular” school age, are already quite comfortable using art materials such as pencils, paper, chalk, crayons, paint, and markers. You have the wonderful opportunity to introduce them to artwork done by people throughout the world, created in other times and cultures. Through online resources, such as the collections in museums throughout the world, and Pinterest online, you can access reproductions to introduce famous artists’ masterpieces and new concepts. These may remain in their minds to inspire them when they are working on their own ideas. At a Missouri Art Education Association Conference, art teacher Mick Luehrman stated that he believes in using lots of images, even in primary grades. He says students will borrow bits of an image that is still in their heads. Teach them the use of materials and work on their skills such as cutting, pasting, working together in a group, and taking responsibility. They will learn how to follow directions, use safe practices with equipment, and develop their own ideas for artwork. They will become confident that they are in charge of their artwork. Students can be taught to draw. Remind them that, just as musicians or sports figures practice to be the best they are able to be, so artists can improve their skills with practice. Many students decide early on that they are “no good in art” because they may not draw as well as some classmates. Teachers of art know that drawing is the foundation of art, but it is important for art teachers to help students understand that there are many kinds of drawing and many kinds of drawing instruments. Some students, for example, “draw” better with scissors or a stick than they do with a pencil, crayon, or marker. Students become aware at a very young age that their work does not look like what they think they are drawing. Some simply quit trying, because true representation is important to them.




Use your mistakes. Try to teach in a manner that will avoid a predictable outcome. If you know in advance what the end result will be, then every individual’s work will be too similar, and you haven’t given students the chance to consider possibilities and come up with personal solutions. Perseverance is a word that usually doesn’t occur when we think of art, but encouraging students to persevere, to do the hard thing, and not to keep starting over again is good for the student. Many teachers limit students to one sheet of paper and discourage the use of erasers. If something is truly “ruined,” then the student can turn the paper over and work on the back of it (another good reason for printing the name small in one corner). Many teachers have students do a preliminary pencil drawing on copy paper (if they are going to next use a larger sheet of “good” paper). Or they can draw with a finger or chalk directly on larger paper prior to painting with tempera, acrylic, or adding color with marker. Show students drawings by such artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Amedeo Modigliani in which they can see lines actually left on the page as these famous artists have tried for the “right” line. Let them get used to hearing you say “Use your mistakes,” or make a large poster using these words. USE YOUR MISTAKES



Personal Nature Journal Grades–K–8 Curriculum connections–language arts, science Time needed–ongoing Elements and principles of art–space, variety, pattern

Materials–spiral-bound, unlined notebook or copy paper folded in half, 10” × 12” drawing “boards” (Masonite or heavy chipboard tablet backings work), black ballpoint pens or Sharpie markers, watercolors or colored pencils, glue sticks

Vocabulary–hot-dog fold, hamburger fold, detail

Background Information Writing can take any format. It could be words written vertically down the side of a page, brief notes about where something was found, a poem, observations about changes, measurements, or personal reflections on how one was feeling that day. These are personal journals! There is no right or wrong way to draw, and a rough sketch can be refined when the students are back indoors. These journals might be small spiral-bound sketch pads, which are easy to open flat, but they could also be nothing more than two sheets of copy paper held together with a clip. Writing can be in any format, but suggest students even keep their copy paper drawings. Encouraging students to sketch and write about what is observed in their immediate surroundings can be the start of a truly eye-opening lifelong adventure. Teach students to make regular entries into their ongoing nature journals: drawing and identifying differences in clouds; the shapes and colors of leaves; or the colors seen in trees, birds, insects, and flowers.

Figure 4.1a  Sunflowers, 2020, A. Brian Zampier. Quick sketches reveal that the artist was examining each leaf and petal, seeing that each had an individual shape. The ink outlines were later loosely painted with watercolors.




Preparation Quick nature sketches made outdoors could be finished later with watercolor or colored pencil. Small items such as an acorn, twig, or shell could be brought indoors or from home to sketch. Suggest that students fill the pages of their nature journals with detail. Keep the drawings and writing small enough to leave room for everything they want to put in. Journal pages are an appropriate place for students to paste written essays or drawings on other pieces of paper that they would like to keep. For thousands of years, artists have been drawing and writing about “nature.” Changes in seasons and even the weather have inspired writers and painters. In this project, students will be both drawing and writing about what they see. Luckily for them, nature is where they are right now. If they look up at the sky, they see differences in clouds to draw. They should notice that the moon changes shape each night. They can begin to notice differences in the sounds of birds—their shapes as they fly, their bills, and their colors. Process

Become a Naturalist •• On every day that the students have a chance to draw, have them write the date in a corner of the page. If they know the temperature, they should write that also. If it is a cloudy day, write that, then draw something seen at the ground level. •• Suggest to students that they make small shapes under the date, showing what the clouds are like that day. Have them research what clouds like that are called and write out the name of the clouds under them. •• Have students select an area of ground that is approximately 12” × 12” in size. Have them sit down and make small drawings on one page of different things they see there (seeds, grass, weeds, twigs, bugs). •• If they are looking at and drawing a bug, the artist should write about it also to help them remember how many feet it had, its size, eyes, and antennas. •• If they have a pet, ask them to draw the pet sleeping, moving around, eating, or playing. They should write its name, and about the funny habits that it has. They might even write a poem about it. •• Students can draw trees that they see at different times of the year. The shape when a tree is filled with leaves helps to identify it. When there are no leaves, they should draw its shape anyway. If they live in a warm place where the seasons make little difference in the trees, then ask them to draw the trees they see. In different seasons, a tree may have seeds or berries. •• Have students devote one page to draw observations of the moon on different nights, with a date after each one. Then ask them to check a calendar, daily paper, or the Internet to get monthly moon phases.


•• Perhaps they have collected shells from a beach. They could draw one or two shells from several different viewpoints. They then could write about a day when they were near water somewhere (a stream, a river, the ocean), and describe how it made them feel. •• On a single page, students can record the stages of a plant growing. Have them fold the paper in fourths, horizontally. They can: (1) draw the seed on the roughened ground, before covering it with dirt; (2) write the date when they first see it sprout; (3) draw it again every few days; and (4) when it blossoms, use a ruler to measure it each time, writing the size next to the date. Sunflower seeds can be planted in the spring, and will flower in the fall, so all four stages could be part of this ongoing drawing. •• If they are drawing a flower, suggest they draw it from several different angles, and include a bud. Adaptation for Primary Students

Copy Paper Journal This four-page booklet might later be “bound” together with other small booklets or at least kept together inside a folded piece of construction paper. Try making a copy paper journal yourself first before trying to teach it. Fold and crease a sheet of copy paper in a “hamburger bun fold” (horizontally). At the fold, beginning 1” in from the edge, poke a hole with the end of the scissors, then cut along the fold to within 1” of the other edge. Fold sheet #2 the same way and make a 1” cut on each side from the outside edge at the fold. Open sheet # 2 and make a “hot dog bun” (lengthways) soft roll. Insert it in the slit opening of sheet #1. Open it up so the slots you have made fit each other.

Figure 4.1b  Copy paper cut to make a four-page booklet.





The Art Sketchbook or Journal Grade levels–K–8 Curriculum connection— language arts Time needed–ongoing Materials–black ink marker, colored pencil, or watercolor

Materials–firm support for drawing (clipboard or heavy pieces of cardboard), Sharpie marker, watercolor or watercolor markers, brushes, copy paper or sketchbook, masking tape

Elements and principles of art–emphasis, repetition, line, color Vocabulary–image, embellishment, folio

Background Information Artist/art teacher Marianist Brother A. Brian Zampier began making art journals 30 years ago and has created more than a hundred. He has developed the habit of keeping an art sketchbook or journal in which he writes and draws daily. The sizes of his journals range from small, spiral-bound notebooks to books large enough to be posters. Brian Zampier draws or writes in his sketchbook or journal every day. Sometimes

Figure 4.2  Baseball Games, 2017, A. Brian Zampier. Many of these quick sketches of baseball players started with a simple line at the waist that shows how the player is leaning. They are “Impressions” of what he saw at several ball games. The marker color is added later. Notice that there is no particular “team” color, and the bats, legs, heads are all very unfinished, yet one can feel the energy!


he starts with writing, or begins with a single mark, which he later embellishes. He likes the idea that you can start to draw without having any idea what the result will be. His suggestion for keeping a sketchbook is that you work only in ink, because you are bound to erase when you use pencil. Sometimes he simply starts a page with a scribble. He has a few “5-year sketchbooks.” For example, on June 21 each year for 5 years, he returns to his “June 21” page in the book and adds another drawing or embellishes what was there before. The habit of drawing and writing a little something on one page each day, then going on with the normal routine, is a form of discipline many students might enjoy. Perhaps older students could start with small, inexpensive (preferably unlined) ­spiral-bound notebooks. Or students can make their own notebooks with copy paper (see directions in the previous project). Each time they start a new drawing, they may make a new “folio” to add to the first “booklet.” Although some artists prefer to work on sketchbooks in pencil, working in ink or ballpoint pen prevents repeated attempts for perfection (you cannot erase). It simply helps the artist to accept, as Brother Brian says, “there it is—whether I like it or not, let’s see what I can make of it.” Preparation A discussion about what a big event it is to start a fresh art sketchbook might ignite a lifelong love for drawing in some students, or help others realize that sketches are often part of the route to making works of art in some other medium such as sculpture. An art sketchbook is meant to be kept—every page of it! This means that, if they make a mistake, they just have to live with it and make it interesting or change it into something else. The first mark might be a date in a corner, so that if they want to come back and work on that page a year from now, they’ll be able to find it easily. Process 1. First thing to have students do is to write their full name on the first page. Remind students that it is best to draw on only one side of a fresh sheet of paper, because sometimes the ink or paint “bleeds through” to the other side. 2. Tell students that they may begin the sketchbook either by writing OR drawing something. The thing about an art sketchbook or journal is that even the writing in ink or marker looks like art when it is combined with drawings. It is always a good idea to put a date somewhere on the page each time a drawing is changed either by drawing more or adding color. 3. Suggest they try looking at the blank page and simply make a mark on it in ballpoint pen, marker, or ink. If they are trying to draw a person, they can make a mark just to give them an idea of the position of a person who is standing. A sketchbook is just that—it need not be a complete work of art, but artists sometimes expect they will come back to their sketchbooks to give them more ideas for a finished artwork later.





The Bestiary: Animal Drawings Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–language arts, science Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–value, balance

Materials–newsprint, 9” × 12” drawing paper, latex house paint (any light color), utility brushes, colored pencils, hand-held pencil sharpeners

Vocabulary–render, species, mythical, bestiary, environment, habitat, overlap

Background Information Some of the earliest evidence we have of humanity is through the drawings of animals on cave walls. Creatures that share the Earth with us have always been fascinating to artists, and many famous paintings include animals. Bestiary (pronounced “bes-chē-ˌer-ē) is a Medieval term that describes the appearance and habits of real or imaginary animals. This bestiary will be based on related animals grouped and overlapped on a single sheet of paper. Artists whose animal artwork would be of interest to students include John James Audubon, Edward Hicks, Frederick Remington, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt Peale, and many contemporary artists such as George Rodrigue (The Blue Dog) and Susan Rothenberg (whose specialty was horses). Preparation This project is for students to draw more than one species of animal within an environment. Students should find reference material to differentiate among animal groups. This could ideally be a library assignment in which each student does library research or finds animal resources on the Internet. If you do not have time for students to do such research, make photocopies from National Geographic magazine, encyclopedias, and science books. Send a note to parents and other teachers asking for leftover light-colored latex paint (or use gesso—the texture is important, not the color). Have students prepare more than one piece of paper for later use. Because this project will be done in pencil or colored pencil, it can be ongoing. (If you use colored pencils, have students use handheld sharpeners on them, or the pencils will quickly be ground down. This is a good time for you (the teacher) to prepare several pieces of regular paper to cut up and make 4½” × 6” pieces of textured paper for younger students. Unlike most animals seen in a zoo, animals in the wild are not separated by species. In Africa, one sees deer, lions, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, and ostriches, all on the same plain. The meat-eaters prey on some of the others, but many are grazers, eating grasses.


THE BESTIARY Arachnids Spider Tarantula Bears

Wren Birds of Prey Condor















Red-tailed hawk

Bighorn sheep

Koala Panda Polar Birds Albatross Canada goose Chicken Duck Egret Emu Flamingo Frigate bird Heron Kiwi Macaw Mallard Ostrich Parrot Puffin Rhea Robin Secretary bird Stork Swallow Swan Toucan Turkey Woodpecker

Vulture Cats Angora Burmese Calico Siamese Tabby Dogs Beagle Bulldog Dalmatian Great Dane Greyhound Schnauzer Setter Spaniel Terrier Fish Blowfish Dolphin Flying fish Jellyfish Shark Stingray Swordfish Insects Butterfly Fly

Bison Camel Deer Elk Fox Gazelle Giraffe Hippopotamus Hyena Kangaroo Leopard Lion Manatee Moose Ox Platypus Porcupine Possum Rabbit Reindeer Skunk Squirrel Wolf Primates Ape Chimpanzee

Squirrel monkey Penguins Crested Emperor Gentoo King Magellanic Yellow-eyed Reptiles Alligator Crocodile Galapagos tortoise Iguana Lizard Python Sea turtle Rhinos Black Indian Javan Square-lipped Sumatran Snakes Black Cobra Coral Rattlesnake Sidewinder Whales Blue bowhead





Figure 4.3a  The Bestiary—list of animals.

Sperm Wild Cats Bobcat Cheetah Jaguar Leopard Lion Lynx Mountain lion Ocelot Wild Dogs Coyote Dingo Red Fox




Process 1. Demonstrate applying the latex paint undercoat onto the drawing paper (the paint may be white, or any light color), applying it first in one direction, and (after it has dried slightly) then applying a coat in the other direction. The rough textures created with the thick undercoat will make the drawings more interesting. 2. Have students research a species of insect, mammal, or reptile. They should use at least three different species to make a composition. Have them draw the creatures on a piece of newsprint. They can transfer the drawing by scribbling over the back of the drawing with pencil, then placing it where they would want it on the latex-coated drawing paper and redrawing it to transfer. Encourage varying sizes and overlapping. 3. When they have transferred several outline drawings to the paper, suggest they use colored pencil to draw the animals realistically. Spaces between them may be left uncolored, or they can appear related to one another by letting one color blend into another. Contrasting colors in plants or water may be added behind the animals. 4. Show students how to stand a distance from their artwork and look at it critically. The colors should be bright enough and the animals large enough such that each animal is distinctly recognizable. Adaptations for Younger Students Have them use colored pencil for smaller pieces of paper. The underlying texture of the latex paint will show on the surface. Alternative Project Mythical creatures. Students may make one imaginary creature drawing by combining parts from many different animals and attributing special personality quirks to their own animal. Historical antecedents for these would be the sphinx (head of a pharaoh, body of a lion); the chimera (lion’s head, goat’s body, serpent’s tail); the unicorn (in heraldry, it has the body and head of a horse with a single twisted horn, hind legs of a stag, and tail of a lion); the dragon (in Chinese tradition, it has the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a demon, ears of a cow, neck of a snake, belly of a frog, scales of a carp, claws of an eagle, and paws of a tiger); and the griffin (head and wings of an eagle and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion). Curriculum Connections

Language Arts Animal journal. Students write an ongoing journal about their animals, listing ­characteristics of the animal and its environment.


Animal personality story. Students write a fictional story about one animal of its species. They will certainly be familiar with such stories as Bambi, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Clifford, and Curious George. Older students might relate to Call of the Wild.

Science Animal behavior. Students can investigate poisonous species and coloration, migration, amphibians, reproductive systems, endangered species, evolution of species, habitat, eating habits, metamorphosis, hibernation, regeneration, grouping behavior, and specific groups. The animals depicted in the handout titled “Animals” are simply a sample listing of species.

Figure 4.3b  African animal paintings, acrylic on Masonite. Only a few major characteristics of an animal let you know if it is an elephant or a zebra, private collection.





Legs, Wings, Claws, and Antennas Grades–K-5 Curriculum connection–language arts, science

Materials–drawing paper, tempera paint, copy paper, brushes

Time needed–1–2 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, line, shape Vocabulary–habitat, ecology, antennae

Background Information This project is appropriate for primary grades, although older children also enjoy seeing what they can create from an accidental beginning. It is good to have ­ ­magazine photos or photocopies of various flying or crawling creatures posted around the room Preparation Try this first yourself, so you will be able to advise students about the proper amount and placement of the tempera paint. Process 1. Students will be using their imagination to discover creatures that suddenly appear when they use their fingers to push paint around on the paper. Students may find antennae eyes in strange places, and interesting blends of color. 2. Demonstrate how to fold the paper in half horizontally. Put drops of several colors on one side of the paper near the crease. Do not put one color on top of another, but at intervals that will allow colors to blend when the paper is folded. Show how to use fingers to move paint around before it is opened. 3. Show students what happens when the paper is opened. Ask them if they see insect butterflies, bugs, or other animals on your paper. Show them how to add a little more paint if needed for a creature to emerge. 4. Tell them to allow the paint to dry slightly, then they can outline their creature in black or bright colors, adding eyes, antennae, wings, and/or legs. Curriculum Connections

Language Arts Short Story About “My Creature”: When students have "discovered" what their creature is, they must give it a name and a personality, and write a short story about where


it lives and what its family is like. Students are certainly familiar with stories and songs about animals.

Science Flying and Crawling Creatures: This project could be made more specific with a study of flying insects, butterflies, spiders, or crawling insects. Habitat such as a spider web, grasses, flowers, or tree branches could be added to the background.

Figure 4.4  Prints from The Earth and Animated Nature, Oliver Goldsmith (working dates from 1755–1808) from the collection of Carl and Helen Christoferse.

DRAW WHAT YOU SEE RATHER THAN WHAT YOU KNOW. Betty Edwards Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain











































Drawing the Hand: Signing Alphabet Grades–3–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–1–2 class periods

Materials–9” × 12” drawing paper, 9” × 9” poster board, tracing paper, masking tape, pencil, scissors, colored pencils, glue

Elements and principles of art–emphasis, line Vocabulary–blind contour drawing, contour drawing, complementary colors

Background Information Making a portion of a signing alphabet serves two purposes. It helps students learn to draw from life, and it makes them aware of the usefulness of this form of speaking to someone who cannot hear. If a class works together to make an entire alphabet, this can be shared with others in the form of a class poster, a booklet, or posted on a school computer. This could be an interesting project for starting the year, as students will first make a drawing of their hand in any position (except tracing around the hand). Have them put their names and the date on the drawings for you to keep. At the end of the year, have them again draw a hand. Return their fall drawings for them to see the progress they have made in a year. Show them examples of a hand making one letter of the “signing” alphabet. It is exciting for you, the teacher, to realize that you have helped students make the breakthrough of drawing what they see. Preparation Demonstrate blind contour drawing on the board or large paper by looking at your own hand as you draw without peeking (talking about what you are looking at as you draw). Students will enjoy seeing how terrible your drawing is, but then are willing to try it themselves. After they have done blind and modified contour drawings, they may be willing to draw their hand showing one letter of the signing alphabet. Make many enlarged photocopies of the signing alphabet handout. Cut groups of four from the photocopies and distribute them. Have students make drawings of their non-drawing hand showing four different alphabet letters from their paper reproduction. Their drawings can be cut out later and assembled on one sheet of paper. Each student’s best drawing of a “signing” letter can be transferred to a poster board for redrawing with a marker.


100 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS One teacher posted signing-alphabet paintings on the ceiling tiles in her art room. Consider it! Process

Preliminary Drawing 1. Have students tape a piece of copy paper to the table for this “drawing from observation.” They should experiment with different ways of arranging their non-­ drawing hand before beginning to draw. Have them put their name and the date on the paper. Blind Contour Drawing 2. By definition, blind contour drawing means that they may not look at the paper as they look only at the hand while drawing it, and they may not lift the pencil from the paper. This time they will turn their back to the paper, not looking at the taped-down paper at all while trying to draw exactly what they see. Tell them to work slowly, putting the pencil to the paper as if it were touching the outside of their hand. Now, without naming parts of the hand, have them move the pencil along the paper as if it were touching the skin. When they get to wrinkles or fingernails, they should allow the pencil to go inward and back out without lifting it. Modified Contour Drawing 3. Direct them to tape the paper to the table. This will be a modified contour drawing, which will allow the artist to look at the hand while drawing it. When they practice doing this, they will see continued improvement. 4. Ask students to make four drawings, on this single sheet of paper, of a hand that is “signing” a letter—see the handout “Signing Alphabet.” They should be at least as large as their own hands, between 4” and 8” approximately. 5. Ask them to work slowly and carefully, remembering to draw what they see, not what they know. When the four drawings in pencil are complete, they should go over the pencil with a Sharpie marker. Ask students to select their best drawing and use tracing paper to make a copy. Show them how to scribble over the back of the tracing paper with pencil, then transfer this drawing to heavy paper. They will finish by using colored pencil to carefully color the drawing of the hand and the letter it represents.


Introduction to Pastels OIL PASTELS Pastels, crayons, and chalk come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are made of ground pigment held together with a binder and pressed into stick shape. Oil pastels are slightly different from regular pastels, as the binder is oil. Oil pastels are similar to crayon but are softer and cover the surface more easily than crayon, almost resembling oil paint. Max, a 9-year-old, recently shared a secret by telling me that paper towels really work well to blend oil pastels. Pablo Picasso dabbled in professional-grade oil pastel and is credited with helping to pioneer its use.

TRADITIONAL PASTELS Traditional pastels are usually applied using the darkest colors first, then putting the lighter values on top. They are often applied with most of the strokes going one direction. To get shading, complementary colors are built one on top of another. Pastels smear easily, so they are often later sprayed with a fixative to preserve them. This darkens the color somewhat, so is reserved until the last step. Caution: if you use any fixative that does not bear a CP or AP nontoxic certificate from the Creative Materials Institute, you, personally, should spray artwork outside or after class. If framing pastels, tape spacers (small pieces of mat board) to the mat between the image and glass in the frame. It should have room to breathe. Artists whose pastels are especially admired include Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt.

Figure 4.5  Ballet Dancers in the Wings, c. 1900, Edgar Degas, 1834–1917, French, pastel on paper, 28” × 26”, St. Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase.




Making the Small Monumental Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–2–3 class periods

Materials–12” × 18” drawing paper, pastels, chalk, oil pastels or crayons, small objects (shells, flowers, bones, model cars)

Elements and principles of art–emphasis, balance Vocabulary–center of interest, scale, foreground, background, monumental, rule of thirds

Background Information Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe understood how to make a small object dominate a landscape and appear larger than life. She placed natural articles such as shells, flowers, or an animal skull in the foreground (near to the bottom of the page) and made them dominate the composition (monumental/huge).

Figure 4.6  Red Hill and White Shell, 1938, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1887–1986, oil on canvas, 76.2” × 92.7”. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas.

Preparation First discuss the concept of monumental. Then have students list things that are smaller than a hand. Write these on the board as they are named; examples are shells, a mouse, a model car, a ladybug, a penny, flower, baseball, Legos®, Cheerios®, a shoelace, a wishbone, keys, and so on. Also talk about what might be found in an imaginary landscape. It could include hills, trees, mountains, and rivers, just as in


any landscape, but it might also be on the moon, in the ocean, on a space station, or in an all-yellow garden. Or have bright red trees. Oil pastels are somewhat messy, so have the students push their sleeves above their elbows. They could use a “cover sheet” (piece of 8½” × 11” paper) on which to rest the hand while coloring to prevent smearing a completed area while they work on another part. Process Have students think about the one subject they will emphasize. This will be the largest object in the foreground of an imaginary landscape. This is a good opportunity to teach them the “rule of thirds” (a compositional device often used by experienced artists). Show them how to use a finger to trace a tic-tac-toe grid on the entire paper. Show them how artists sometimes place their “center-of-interest” not in the center of the page, but rather on one of the intersections on a tic-tac-toe grid. 1. Demonstrate using a pencil and ruler to lightly draw a 1” border all the way around the paper to keep from smearing pastels on their desks. Let them decide what their largest object will be and draw it on an “intersection.” The object should appear at least as large as their open hand. 2. Decide what would really be a strange location for the object to be in. Suggest they think of an “environment” that is not normal for the subject. Have they ever heard the expression “a fish out of water”? 3. After completing the pencil drawing, have them use pastels to color the whole page. Oil pastels are most beautiful when they are colored firmly. They can add one color on top of another, and even scratch designs through the top layer to show colors underneath. 4. Remind them that, except for the one real object, this is an imaginary drawing. Suggest they use unrealistic colors. Trees don’t always have to have brown trunks and green leaves, and skies don’t always have to be blue. They might even choose to use a color scheme based on analogous or complementary colors. 5. When they are finished, place the drawing inside a mat. Alternative Projects

The Whole Room and Your Hand Instead of using an object, students could use drawings of their own hands as the center of interest in the drawing (remembering that centers-of-interest are not always in the center). They could then draw the portion of the room that they see behind their hands. The background could be selected by simply moving the hand around until satisfied with the view behind it. The size of the background can then be much smaller than the hand.


104 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Social Studies Preservation Conversation In these days of social consciousness and environmental awareness, this is a wonderful opportunity to raise thought-provoking questions that even the youngest students might consider. A few questions: Should old buildings or parts of a town be destroyed to make way for the new? When a building costs more to restore than to build a new one, why would you try to save the old one? What can they do in the future to preserve an important structure? Are there any old buildings nearby that could be used for another purpose?

























Mandala Drawings Grades–4–8 Curriculum connections: social studies, math, language arts Time needed–4–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, line, color, shape, pattern, balance, variety, contrast Vocabulary–mandala, radial balance, concentric, arc, henna

Materials–tissue paper assorted colors; white 9” × 12” 80 lb. paper; thin and extra-thin black Sharpie markers; plastic “Safe T Compass”; small geometric shape stencils are optional, but helpful (pattern block size); #2 pencils and erasers, watercolor brushes, and cups of water (to wet tissue).

Background Information Various cultures do traditional art that has radial balance, such as Gothic rose windows, Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs, radial sun rays on clay Mexican suns, and East Indian Henna designs. They all have the same type of radial balance in common. Cathy Harland from McKelvey Elementary shows examples of Henna in which half a Mandala-style radial design was done and explained. The students would also be doing half of a design bursting from the side of the paper.

Figure 4.7a  Mandala, 2019, Gabi Atkins, Grade 5, McKelvey Elementary School mixed media, Parkway School District, St. Louis, Missouri. Art Teacher Cathy Harland.

Preparation Create a PowerPoint or digital presentation to show mandala art as well as traditional art from various cultures with radial balance. The presentation can also review the other two types of balance (symmetrical and asymmetrical). Include an example of henna in which half a mandala-style radial design is done.


Figure 4.7b  Mandala, 2019, Pranvi Agrawal, Grade 5, McKelvey Elementary School mixed media, Parkway School District, St. Louis, Missouri. Art Teacher Cathy Harland.

Test the tissue paper to make sure it is the kind that bleeds when water is added). Cut the tissue in about 2”–3” pieces for each table. Prepare water bowls and brushes for each table. Order or locate plastic “Safe T Compass” and small geometric shape stencils, pattern block size (optional). Process 1. Explain to the class that they will be doing half of a Mandala design bursting from a corner or side of the paper. 2. Have students cover the white paper with small pieces of tissue, one piece at a time. They should wet  all pieces, spreading water over them with a watercolor brush. The tissue paper must be thoroughly wet. As students work, if they notice sections drying quickly and popping up, they should reapply water. Students should not touch the paper once it is wet, or it will stain their fingers. 3. Once the papers are covered in tissue pieces (that overlap slightly), let them dry overnight. Tissue will dry and fall off. Dump tissue in trash the next day. 4. Weight the papers down for a day to flatten them before students draw on them. One way to achieve this is to fill used water bottles and put them in a tub. This tub can be set on piles of paper to flatten them. 5. In the second class, demonstrate the use of a compass to make concentric circles. Students pick a corner or side of paper to have the design burst from. The compass is used to create arcs that form concentric curves at different distances from the center. They should mark the point that will be the center if doing from a side. Students should draw about seven concentric arcs. 6. Have students draw lines and shapes in pencil to create a pattern between each arc, perhaps by drawing a symbol or using a color to represent something or someone important in their lives, such as a friend, a family member, a musical instrument, a favorite sport, or a hobby. Discuss the principles of pattern and movement. Students can be invited to draw creative details—for example, representational


108 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS images (see example with animals)—as long as they are done to create radial balance. Shapes and lines should connect to each other. 7. After all details are drawn in pencil, students should go over all lines with a black, fine-tip/standard Sharpie (not extra-fine). This process can take two classes. 8. The final step is to add different patterns within the shapes. These can be simple such as scallop lines outlining shapes, making vertical, diagonal and horizontal lines, dots, circles, petals, and spirals. Most of this can be done directly with a Sharpie and/or extra-fine Sharpie. Representational images are welcome as long as they are done to create radial balance. Encourage students to vary the value of their spaces by filling in some spaces solid and varying how close together the marks are. This adds contrast and helps the details stand out next to each other.


In Your Own Little Corner in Your Own Little Room Grades—4–8 Curriculum connection—math

Materials—paper, pencil, crayon, marker or watercolor, ruler

Time needed—3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art—color, texture, line Vocabulary—interior design, color coordination, theme, vertical lines, horizontal lines, one-point perspective, vanishing point, perspective, rendering, parallel, accessories

Background Information Although some students get involved in the decoration of their rooms, others are totally oblivious of their surroundings. Students may never have thought of their own rooms as being “architecture,” or that the colors, decorations, and objects in it might be called “interior design.” Some interior designers create watercolor renderings of rooms for their clients. Many artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard, often chose room interiors as their subject. Preparation Ask students to draw their own rooms in total detail, perhaps including an open closet door. A drawing could be just of one corner of the room. Students could make a floor plan before doing a drawing of one corner or wall. Talk with them about what is in their bedrooms—what colors the walls are, and what they have on their walls. Introduce one-point perspective by demonstrating, on the board or a piece of paper, how to make and use a vanishing point in a simple drawing of a room. Particularly,


help students notice that all horizontal and vertical lines are exactly parallel to the sides of the paper, and that the diagonal lines all go to the vanishing point. Process 1. Have students put a dot in the center of the paper. This is the vanishing point. Holding a ruler, lightly draw lines from the corners to the vanishing point. These lines represent the walls, floor, and ceiling. 2. Show them how to draw a rectangle to represent the far wall of the room from the diagonal lines, making sure the straight lines are exactly parallel to the top, bottom, and sides of the paper. 3. They now can draw the bed, dresser, mirrors, windows, bookcases, doors, and rug—by drawing more diagonal lines, and then drawing vertical or horizontal lines where needed. 4. When they have lightly drawn details, have them erase unnecessary lines and use crayon or watercolor to add color and pattern. 5. They can now accessorize the room, adding pictures or pennants on the walls, stuffed animals on the bed, and items on the dresser. Adaptation for Younger Students Draw your surroundings. Although younger students are not yet ready for perspective drawing, they are certainly ready to draw their surroundings. Let them draw themselves doing something in their rooms (reading, sleeping, dressing, drawing). This can be done with a pencil, crayon, or marker. Alternative Projects

Interior Design Three-dimensional paper model of your own room. Ask students to fold a 12” × 12” or 18” × 18” square of drawing paper or tagboard in fourths, then cut a fold line on one segment to the center. The two bottom “flaps” will be overlapped and the upper portion folded to give a cut-away “corner” of a room. The overlapped flaps will be the floor, and the sides will be two walls. When the drawing is all finished, have students glue the bottom. They can draw their own rooms, including details such as windows, doors, shelves, and pictures. Paper boxes can be made and decorated for dressers, bookshelves, and a bed, and then glued into place.

Stage Set Have students make a stage model of a room by cutting away one side of a cardboard box and slanting two sides from the lower corner in the front toward the top back. Show an example and suggest how they can use construction paper, cardboard, cloth, and other found materials to construct an open-sided “living room” model that could be used by actors.


110 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Clean Your Closet Have students make a list of all the things that are kept in their bedroom closet. Ask them if their own closets are in order. How could they change the closet so that they would have a “place for everything and everything in its place”? Have them do a drawing of the closet, considering how it could be improved. Sometimes the closet can be kept in better order by adding another pole, shelves, labeled boxes, or cubbyholes. They can do before-and-after drawings of the closet, as it really is now, and as it could be with a little organization. Curriculum Connection

Math Cityscape with one-point perspective. Have students place a dot (vanishing point) in the center of the paper. They will lightly draw lines from the corners of the paper to the dot (the lines in the center will be erased). The vertical sides of the buildings, windows, and doors will parallel the sides of the paper. Windows, sidewalks, cars, doors, and people can be drawn in perspective by keeping one end of the ruler on the dot and making lines from the edges of the paper. To make the picture more interesting, students can vary the building heights, window styles, and signs. Suggest that they add details such as light posts, people, cars, and street markings.

Computer Graphics Interior The use of one-point perspective works well in computer graphics, and some students will enjoy the challenge of designing a room, and transforming boxes into beds, dressers, pictures, sofas, chairs, doors, and windows. In place of perspective, a floor plan of a room or the entire house could be done by connecting geometric shapes.

Figure 4.8  The Bedroom, 1889, Vincent Van Gogh, 1863–1890, Dutch, Oil on Canvas, 29” × 36 5/8”, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, Chicago Art Institute.



Painting is one of the joys of teaching art, and there is no doubt that most students look forward to it. Naturally, their painting improves when they have more opportunities to do it. Students will continually surprise you with their results. To make it pleasant for the students and yourself, here are some solutions devised by many experienced teachers.

Tempera or Acrylic Paint At any age, suggest that students roll up their sleeves and protect their clothing with an apron or old shirt. To make cleanup easier, have students use large two-ply tag boards to go under their paintings in all your classes to protect the tabletops. Students can carry their wet work to a drying rack or hall floor until the paintings are dry and you remove the tag board for reuse. Disposable palettes for mixing paint may be foam plates, or double-fold pages from a newsmagazine or catalogue. Remove staples from a slick magazine, and you have enough throwaway “palettes” for an entire class. Dispense colors of paint onto the palette as needed. Conserving paint is always a consideration for budget-minded teachers—but, to avoid mold, don’t put paint back into original jars. Cleanup can be simplified with younger students. Dirty brushes can be placed in a container in the sink by table “captains” and washed by one person. Some teachers use wet wipes for table cleanup; or, after students wash their hands, they can carry the paper towel they use for drying their hands to the table for cleaning while table captains clean the brushes at the sink.



Figure 5.0  Three Sunflowers, Leila Arehart, Kindergarten, Ridge Meadows School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs.


Personal Rainbow Color Wheel Grades–3–8 Curriculum connection–science Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–shape, color, pattern, balance, movement, emphasis Vocabulary–template, hue, primary, secondary, complementary, spectrum

Figure 5.1a  Color Wheel, teacher example.

Materials–cardstock or tagboard cut into 3” × 6” rectangles or pre-cut 3” × 5” file cards (12 per ­student); 18” × 18” black construction paper; red, blue, and yellow tempera paint; newsprint; pencils; brushes; paper palettes (doubled slick sheets from a magazine or catalog); rubber bands; scissors


Background Information Ellsworth Kelly’s work in colors of the spectrum may help students realize that simple colors and shapes are beautiful. Personal experience in mixing three primary colors to produce a complete color wheel is a wonderful introduction to painting. Although pre-mixed colors are a staple of the art classroom, students understand how color is achieved when they mix their own colors from the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Each composition will be different from others as students mix their own colors and design their own templates. Preparation Cut 3” × 6” pieces of tag board (old file folders would also work). Discuss real and abstract shapes with students and encourage long, narrow shapes: a tree, a guitar, etc. Simple shapes work best (if the shapes are complex, the cutting out gets tedious). Show them an example of a purchased color wheel and talk about the colors of the spectrum. Remind students that colors need to be mixed well to avoid streaking, and that they need to cover the surface but not build up the paint too thickly.

Figure 5.1b  Spectrum II, 1966–1967, Ellsworth Kelly, 1923–2015, American, oil on canvas, 80” × 22’ 9”. Funds given by the Schoenberg Foundation, Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, photo, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, Saint Louis Art Museum.

Process 1. Have students write their names on the back of 12 plain 3” × 6” cardstock. They will paint 12 colors from only three primary colors. After they finish painting, the wet pieces may be placed on a sheet of newsprint (that has the student’s name on it) to dry. 2. Demonstrate mixing colors. Begin with two primary colors. The colors they will need are red, red–orange, orange, yellow–orange, yellow, yellow–green, green, blue– green, blue, blue–violet, violet, red–violet. ••Paint one piece pure red. Mix red with yellow to make orange. Add more red to make red–orange and more yellow to make yellow–orange. ••Paint one piece pure blue. Mix red and blue to make violet. Add more blue to make blue–violet and more red to make red–violet.



••Paint one piece pure yellow. Mix blue and yellow to make green. Add more blue

to make blue–green and more yellow to make yellow–green. 3. Show students how to make a tag board template by drawing a shape on a 3” × 6” tag board rectangle and cutting it out. Discuss that the shape could be something simple such as a lightning bolt, arrow, crayon, tree, car, animal, your initials, etc.— but they must use the full 6” length. Show them how to trace around the pattern and cut out 11 shapes (their pattern will be one of the 12 pieces needed). 4. Arrange the 12 shapes on a black background, placing red, yellow, and blue in a triangle; then make a second triangle with orange, green, and violet. Insert the tertiary colors. Do this in a perfect circle before gluing the shapes in place, leaving a border on all four sides. They may have to overlap shapes near the center. If they are too thick in that area, they could cut off the tip of some shapes to make space. Make sure they have placed the colors in the order of the spectrum. To preserve their charts, they may be laminated. Adaptations for Younger Students Primary and secondary colors. Show students how to draw a 5” triangle on white paper with marker (one flat side on the bottom). Give each student a 3” × 3” card. Have them draw a simple shape (e.g., a star) and then use scissors to cut it out. Distribute 3” × 3” squares of red, yellow, and blue paper to each student. They should trace around their shape with pencil, then cut out those shapes and glue them on the corners of the triangle. Then distribute orange, green, and violet 3” × 3” squares. Show students how to draw an upside-down triangle on top of the first with pencil, and appropriately glue the secondary colors in place on the other triangle. Hopefully they will notice that they have made a circle (wheel). (See the color wheel on the color handout.) Alternative Projects Rainbow wave moving figure. Have students make a tag board template outline of a figure or shape. Beginning at one side or corner of a piece of white drawing paper, they draw the entire figure, and then partially trace around this 12 times lightly with pencil, overlapping (part of the design that will be hidden when it is painted). It can go across the page in a curved line. The same design in smaller repetitions of the same shape can cause it to become smaller in size. Have students lightly write what the colors will be in the 12 shapes to help place the painted shapes in the appropriate areas. These should be painted in the order of the spectrum to avoid wasting paint. Color wheel, group project. To speed up this process, students can work in groups of three to mix and paint four colors on cards for everyone in the group. To save paint, each of the three people would select one primary color and make variations on it. For example: 1. red—red–orange, orange, red–violet 2. yellow—yellow–orange, yellow–green, green 3. blue—blue–green, blue–violet, violet Have students ensure that their names are written on the backs of the cards.


Curriculum Connection

Science Color in light, color in pigment. This is a good opportunity to teach differences in colors seen in light versus colors in pigments. Also discuss prisms, rainbows, and the spectrum of light.


Enlarge a Masterpiece Grades–4–8 Curriculum connections–science, social studies Time needed–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, shape, balance, contrast, movement, emphasis

Materials–two photocopies of a masterpiece, index cards, drawing paper cut to proportion, Sharpie marker, tag board, roll paper (for ­mounting the finished large composition), rulers, pencils, tempera paint, brushes, water containers, paper towels

Vocabulary–grid, enlargement, hue, proportion, complementary color

Figure 5.2a  Mural painted by K–5 Art students, based on The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1846, by George Caleb Bingham, St. Louis Art Museum. The scale was 1” = 1’. Notice photocopy of Bingham’s painting on wall at the right of mural.


116 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information Schoolwide theme mural. Students and parents at the Reed Elementary School in St. Louis County, Missouri, transformed their entry hall into a Mississippi Riverfront. Their art teacher, Linda Packard, tells us that students of all levels were involved, and each was given a 1” piece of a reproduction of The Jolly Flatboatmen, painted by George Caleb Bingham. Students enlarged and painted a 1’ section of the mural based on their 1” section. Then the painted sections were assembled and hung. Parents helped hang the assembled mural, and one parent cut pieces for the wooden walkway and posts that went in front of the mural, but it was hammered in place by students. Barrels and ropes were placed in front of the mural to make the entry hall resemble the authentic St. Louis riverfront of Bingham’s time. Students researched and learned about the history of their city as part of this project. Preparation Select a painting for enlarging that has sufficient variety throughout the artwork so that each student will have something interesting to enlarge. It would surely be discouraging to have to paint a section that is plain. Artists whose work would be interesting and appropriate for this project include Vincent van Gogh, Faith Ringgold, Henri Matisse, Henri Rousseau, Edward Hicks, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Kehinde Wiley, Nick Cave, Grandma Moses, and Paul Gauguin. Decide what the ultimate finished size will be. It can be large enough to go floor to ceiling or 3’ × 3’ square. Cut each piece of the drawing paper so it will be in exact proportion to the individual pieces of the original (e.g., 0.25” = 2”). The individual enlargements can be as small as 6” × 6”. Because colors are going to be mixed by the students, even a small painting may take two periods. Have two large color photocopies made of the masterpiece (or buy reproductions). Divide both reproductions on the front with a ruler or yardstick using a Sharpie marker to make enough individual sections so that each of the students in your class has one. If you come up with extras, perhaps you, the teacher, will have to paint a section along with the students. Number each section and put a student’s name on the front of that segment (on both reproductions). Cut up one photocopy and staple each individually numbered piece to a numbered index card with a student’s name on it. When the paintings are complete, use polymer medium, thinned YES glue, or PVA adhesive to glue them so they will lie flat on a roll paper background (if it is not wide enough, glue strips of roll paper together, leaving a border for the students to sign). Or join pieces together with wide tape. Process Students will be enlarging a very small portion of this masterpiece, so it is important that they mix the colors to be identical to their portion of the picture.


1. Have students use a pencil to measure and draw a grid of 1” squares over their portion of the picture. On the larger drawing paper, they should carefully draw a larger grid in exact proportion to their section of the original. For example, 0.25” on the original section could be equal to 2” on their enlargement. 2. Ask them to use a pencil to lightly draw in each large square on their drawing paper grid exactly what they see in the small square of the original. Before they begin to paint, look at each student’s drawing. 3. In mixing colors, show them how to add a complementary color to change the hue of a color: to lighten or darken it. Suggest they use a touch of red added to green, for example, rather than using only black and white. 4. Suggest that they avoid constantly having to clean the brush and mix color again by mixing the dominant (most-used) color first, applying it to the drawing paper wherever it occurs. Then mix the second color, and so on. Have them continue painting until they have covered the piece of paper and it looks exactly like the small piece with which they started. 5. When all the squares are finished, reassemble them either by taping them together on the back or by gluing them to a large roll paper background. Leave a folded border around the outside edge to give it strength, and ask students sign their names to the composition.

Figure 5.2b  Stairway at Auvers, 1890, Vincent van Gogh, 1853–1890, Dutch, oil on canvas, 1911/16” × 27½”, Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase.


118 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Adaptations for Younger Students Black, white, and gray enlargement. Follow the preceding instructions, but enlarge a black-and-white high-contrast reproduction and allow students to do it with black, white, and gray tempera. Alternative Projects Project it on the wall (or Masonite). Several students can work together in painting with acrylic paint to make a design or picture look almost identical to the original. You, the teacher, should divide it into appropriate sections, giving a number to match a specific color. Using a document camera, a transparency outline can be projected directly onto a primed wall or Masonite that has been primed with a white undercoat. Students may draw the outlines with pencil onto the background. Keep the colors in numbered containers, and each student will apply that color of paint wherever he/she sees the number within the mural. If possible, recruit an older volunteer to be there during painting sessions. When the painting is finished, coat it with a clear coat of polymer medium. Put it on a ceiling tile. Older students could paint (with acrylic paint) personalized versions of masterpieces onto ceiling tiles, which are taken down for this operation and reinserted into the ceilings of the art room and hallways. Be sure to get approval from your principal and maintenance staff!

Figure 5.2c  Painted ceiling tiles. Students in “art studio” often work collaboratively to paint ceiling tiles at Ridge Meadows Elementary school in St. Louis County, ­Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs.

Oil pastel enlargement. This project is also appropriately done with oil pastels on colored pastel paper. Substitute your own face. Each student can enlarge a masterpiece using the grid system, substituting a painting of his or her own face from a school picture for one or all of the faces in the painting.


Curriculum Connections

Science Environmental mural with animal life. Students may select a segment of the animal kingdom—such as undersea creatures or jungle creatures—and paint an entire wall. Have them use black fine-line marker to draw these animals on 8½” × 11” paper, then project the drawing directly onto the wall for painting. Acrylic or latex paint is best for this. It can then be sealed with clear polymer medium to protect it from dirt.


Winter Whites—Animals of the Far North and South Grades–3–8

Materials–18” × 24” paper, yellow chalk, tempera

Curriculum connection–science

or acrylic paint, brushes

Time needed–2–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, shape, value, contrast, variety, emphasis Vocabulary–limited palette, predominant

Figure 5.3  Chilly Observation, 1889, Charles Sidney Raleigh, 1830–1925, American (b. England), oil on canvas, 29 13/16” × 43 7/8”, The Collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Philadelphia Museum of Art.


120 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information This project is about winter animals of the Arctic or Antarctic, many of which are white or may have white winter camouflage. Winslow Homer’s painting Fox in Winter happens to not show the fox in camouflage, but in dark red contrast against the white snow. Preparation White is to be the predominant color. Be prepared to demonstrate techniques for shadows and the differences between the animal’s camouflage and the snow that surrounds it. We recommend having each student use a paper palette (two folded magazine pages or small foam plate) with mostly white, brown, orange, yellow, blue, and violet to make this painting. Project or print various images of winter white animals, which might include polar bears, snowshoe hares, snowy owls, white foxes, wolves, baby harp seals, and mink. Other animals from the cold regions of the world include caribou, moose, buffalo, elk, otters, fish, penguins, and walruses. Also provide a variety of winter landscapes visuals. This will be a quiet painting, just as snow and the outdoors seem quiet in the winter. Although white will be the main color, students will add other hues to the white to show shadows or sunlight. Discuss a limited palette. Demonstrate how one might show shadows and the differences between the animal’s camouflage and the snow that surrounds it. Process 1. Have students use yellow chalk to draw the animal(s) they will be painting. Students should think about where the horizon line will be, and draw some trees, snow-covered hills, or a barn in the background, and consider the colors of a winter sky. They may later add a few weeds poking through the snow for balance. 2. Suggest they give the animal a first coat of white paint, then paint in the background. They should choose (even if they cannot see it) the direction of the sun for this painting to decide whether to put a shadow in front of or behind the animal. They can indicate light and shadow by adding a small amount of yellow or orange to the white for sunlight, and violet or blue for shadow. In the brightest places, white may be used without any color added at all. 3. Discuss how to show the animals against the snow. Almost the only color we will see of some animals is a nose and the color of the eyes! Darken around the edges to show form (roundness). If the animal has long hair, a dry-brush technique can be used to create the appearance of fur. 4. If there are trees or bushes on the horizon, students should paint those with darker colors. Limbs of trees might have snow on them that would show against the sky. Encourage students to stand back and look at the painting to see if they have made enough differences in value between the animal and the snow so the animal is visible from a distance.


Curriculum Connection

Science Winter camouflage. This project could involve research for your students to find out which animals change color in the winter. Polar bears are white year-round, but other animals may develop winter coats for camouflage. The painting could show any animals or birds from the Arctic or Antarctic regions silhouetted against snow.

Hibernation Habits This also offers an opportunity to learn about winter hibernation, study the effect of population growth into the animals’ habitat, or gain information about animals that are now endangered


The Equatorial Jungle Grades–3–8

Materials–12” × 18” paper, acrylic or tempera,

Time needed–3–4 class periods

brushes, chalk

Elements and principles of art–color, shape, value, variety, emphasis Vocabulary–artistic license, foreground, middle-ground, background, overlapping, stylized, gradation, tone, shade, tint, complementary color

Figure 5.4a  The Equatorial Jungle, 1909, Henri Rousseau, 1844–1910, French, oil on canvas, 55 3/8” × 51”, Chester Dale Collection, image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


122 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information This project is based on the work of French artist Henri Rousseau, who is best known for his paintings of jungle scenes. He was sometimes called Le Douanier (the French translation for ‘toll keeper’—his occupation). He was a so-called primitive or "naive" artist, which simply meant that he did not have formal art training. Not only that, he probably never saw a jungle! He visited the Paris Botanical Garden often, and his paintings are based on his observations of plants and grasses he saw and drew there or purchased and brought home. Although he did not always have animals in his pictures, one might sometimes see a monkey, lion, or panther peering through the leaves. His animals were based on his visits to the zoo and pictures from books. He was sometimes called a "fantasy artist" because so much of what he painted came from his imagination. Preparation Show students as many reproductions of Rousseau’s work as are available and discuss his background. Borrow plants from around the school and have them do drawings of real plants (or fake silk plants). Have the students observe the variations in the colors, sizes, and shapes of the leaves. The small plant from which they are drawing might be shown as a large tree! Process Demonstrate how to sketch foreground, middle-ground, and background plants. Tell students they need to have at least three plants in their paintings, using dark, medium, and light tones, and that they need to fill the whole page.

Figure 5.4b  Tiger, Shreeram Avernash, Grade 5, mixed media, 12” × 18”, Fairway Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Brian Murphy.


1. Have students loosely compose their drawings with chalk. To show depth in the sky, it is usually darkest toward the top of the page, lighter as it nears the horizon. 2. Rousseau sometimes included a sun or moon in the painting to show day or night. 3. He sometimes used as many as 50 different shades of green in a single composition! Individual leaves had more than one shade. Plan to make light and dark areas of the composition, perhaps near a corner. Green can be changed by adding small amounts of another color such as blue; made darker by adding black or violet; or made lighter by adding white or yellow. A tiny amount of red or orange mixed with bright green tones softens the colors. Plants could also be painted in pure blue, violet, yellow, or white. 4. In addition to the green plants, have students think about including a "surprise," as Rousseau often did. It could be animals peeking out through the leaves or partially hidden. A tree might be filled with oranges, or beautiful exotic flowers might be on or under the trees. Even in a mostly green painting, many different colors can be included. "Artistic license" is a term that means the artist has the freedom to do whatever he or she thinks will make the picture more beautiful. 5. Tell students to step back from their painting to look at it from a distance. They should look for some areas of light or differences in various leaves. Ask them to consider where they could touch up things to improve them. Alternative Project Oil pastel/black tempera resist. This same project can be done on 9” × 12” white construction paper using oil pastel/black tempera resist. Students can draw their compositions with chalk, then color firmly up to the chalk lines (yet  allowing the chalk to be seen). Jungle animals, flowers, or fruit can be included. Plants can even run off the page. Encourage students to blend oil pastel colors, beginning with darker ones, then adding lighter ones on top. When the pastels have been firmly applied, the chalk lines may be lightly wiped off with a tissue. Have students paint the entire picture with black tempera paint. Tempera will "crawl" when applied, but this will not be a problem. After the paint has dried, you (the teacher, or an older student) should gently wash off the tempera under running water.

Watercolor Introduction Although we tend to think of watercolor as a non-permanent medium as compared to oil paint, 400-year-old transparent watercolor paintings continue to exist in all their brilliance. Some great watercolorists include Mary Cassatt, Raoul Dufy, Emil Nolde, John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, Alexander Calder, and Joseph Mallord William Turner. Artists often made watercolor sketches "in the field," then turned these into larger ­paintings in their studios. In the case of William Turner, he sometimes had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a fierce storm so he could “feel” the weather, later painting in his studio what he saw and felt in the middle of the storm.




Watercolor Chart Grade–3–8 Curriculum connection–science Time needed–2 periods Elements and principles of art–color, value, texture Vocabulary–dry brush, wet-in-wet, wash, hue, transparent, pigment, sea salt

Materials–watercolors, crayons, tag board, 11” × 14” watercolor or drawing paper, newsprint, two containers per table (one with clean water), brushes, black marking pen, sea salt, white glue, pieces of corrugated cardboard (for edge stamping)

Figure 5.5a  Watercolor Chart. Teacher example. A student-made chart gives students an opportunity to practice different ways of working with watercolor. After the chart has dried, identify the style with fine-line black marker.


Figure 5.5b  Nine Anemones, c. 1935. Emil Hansen Nolde, 1867–1956, German, watercolor, bequest of John S. Newberry, The Detroit Institute of Arts. Although Emil Nolde’s work was anything but accidental, he exploited the fluid qualities of watercolor.

Background Information See the Introduction for names of famous watercolorists. Watercolor is sometimes the perfect medium for a project. It isn’t quite as messy as other paints can be, and once students get the idea that they need to clean their brushes between color changes, they can take control. If using boxed cake watercolor in a metal box, it can become a student favorite if you remind them that they can mix the colors in the lid, and that they need to leave the lid clean for the next user. Preparation To introduce students to the use of watercolor, have them make a "chart" using the techniques listed here. Try this first yourself, so that the demonstration and explanation to students is clear. This student-made chart gives students an opportunity to practice different techniques of working with watercolor. Because this is simply to introduce them to using watercolor, the students will label each experiment. Fineline marker names may be added after the work has dried.


126 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Process The chart will allow students to see all the different possibilities for working in watercolor. Choices would be to use warm colors on half of the paper and cool colors on the other half. Or they may prefer to use similar subjects such as landscape, seascape, faces, or a flower garden in each rectangle. 1. Have students fold the paper into nine sections by folding in thirds lengthwise, then in thirds horizontally. ••Wet-in-wet. Especially good for skies and water. Demonstrate how to dip a brush in clean water and brush it on one segment of the paper. When they dip the brush into a deeper value of that color and touch the tip into the wet section pigment will spread. ••Watercolor resist. Have them use a white crayon or oil pastel to firmly draw a design, then go over the design with watercolor of two different values. ••Glazing. Colors are made darker by beginning with a light color; then, after the paint has dried slightly, more pigment is added to intensify it. If using drawing paper, this can be overdone, as the paper will start to “pill” (make little balls) if it is worked too much. ••Even wash. Show them how to paint even horizontal brush strokes of the same value across the section. ••Graduated wash. Select one hue. Paint the darkest value at the top, then dilute the brush slightly and overlap the darkest place. Dilute again, then make another stripe. Continue diluting with water until there is almost no color at the bottom. Great for skies and the ocean that meet at the horizon. ••Sea salt. For a speckled area, use two analogous (e.g., red, orange, or yellow) colors to cover an area with paint. While it is wet, sprinkle the watercolor with sea salt (or Kosher salt). Allow the salt to dry several hours before brushing it off. ••Dry brush. Demonstrate how to remove most of the water from the brush before dipping it in pigment. Brush it on newspaper before applying it to the watercolor paper to remove most of the liquid. Drag the tip of the brush across the section, leaving streaks of pigment. This technique is excellent for fur or grass. ••Cardboard painting or printing. Have them dip the edge of a small piece of corrugated cardboard into watery mixed pigment in the lid of the paint box. Drag the paint onto the paper with the cardboard or use the edge of it to stamp details such as fences, bricks, shingles, or windows. ••Sponge printing. Suggest they use an almost-dry small piece of sponge and dip it into watercolor and use it to print details such as tree leaves or clouds. ••Plastic wrap or bubble wrap. To make rocks, apply pigment and, while it is wet, have them use crumpled plastic wrap to press into the surface, leaving it in place to dry overnight. Bubble wrap laid across a wet surface and left until the paint dries gives an entirely different patterned effect.


••Scratch into the paint. When an area is completely dry, use a sharp instrument,

such as a scissor tip, to scrape detail into an area, or remove pigment altogether for highlights. ••Blotting. Use paper towel to blot areas of wet paint. 2. When the paint has dried, have the students use black marker to label the sections. Or print and cut numerous labels for the students’ convenience. Adaptations for Younger Students

Experiments in mark-making. Rather than attempt to make a "chart" for future use, simply introduce younger students to one watercolor process at a time, encouraging them to place these painting "marks" anywhere on a single sheet of white paper. Allow the painting to dry before trying to pull it together by "taking a walk with a crayon," or having them select a favorite place inside the painting. Alternative Project Still life with special color scheme. Introduce students to non-realistic color schemes either by setting up a still life or having them select ordinary objects found around the art room (such as glue, scissors, tape). Allow them to select one of the following color schemes: •• Monochromatic. Everything is a variation of a single hue. •• Complementary. Use values of two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel (red/green; yellow/violet; blue/orange). •• Split–complement. Show a color wheel. Have students select one pure hue (red, yellow, or blue), then use the two hues on both sides of the true complement (e.g., red, yellow–green, and blue–green). Curriculum Connection

Science Pigment. Students could work as a group to research the source of pigments (such as earth or charcoal) that were used prior to artificial minerals. Or, as early artists in all cultures have done, students could make dyes from such things as onion skins or beets simply by boiling them (preferably at home).




Australian Aboriginal Originals Grades–4–8 Time needed–3–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, shape, space, variety Vocabulary–Aboriginal, indigenous, colors: ­complementary and analogous, focal point, unique, style, watercolor/crayon resist, bleed, wet-on-wet watercolor, canvas, composition, walk-about

Materials–8.5” × 11” copy paper, 12” × 18” drawing paper, black Sharpie, crayons or oil ­pastels, watercolors, brushes Resources–digital presentation of ­Aboriginal images

Background Information Aboriginal Australia is mapped according to the travels or journeys of the ancestors, and various animal species that left paths. Discuss the fact that many of these traditional dot designs were originally found on rock walls that were protected from rain, drawn in sand, or applied as body ornamentation. Modern Aborigines continue to be inspired by their ancestors’ designs, but now frequently use acrylics to paint their designs on paper or canvas. Preparation Start with a slide show of varied styles of Aboriginal art to get students talking about the differences in style that they observe. Post reproductions of Aboriginal styles in your classroom. Tell students that you would like them to talk about these images using the “art words” of elements and principles, even though the Australians who did this style of artwork probably had never even heard about elements of art. Ask questions such as: What do you notice about these paintings? What’s unique to this style? What is the point of emphasis of these paintings? Process 1. Using copy paper, ask students to sketch an animal form such as lizards, turtles, or kangaroos, focusing on line and shape. 2. They may then enlarge this on drawing paper with pencil or chalk, taking care to fill the page, making good use of the space. Students will outline the animal drawing with black Sharpie marker and create open designs within the animal’s body. 3. They will then select two complementary colors and use crayon or oil pastel in one of the colors to draw outside the black lines on the animal’s body, and color firmly inside the open designs on the animal’s body. This colored outline provides a wall for the background that will contrast with the previous two colors and prevents the wet-in-wet style of painting from bleeding into the animal.


Figure 5.6  Australian Aboriginal Original, 2019. Art teacher Lauren Schaefer’s teaching example, watercolor, mixed media, Ross Elementary School, Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri.

4. Watercolor. The second of the two complementary colors is now painted, using watercolor on the animal. Students will notice the resist of the crayons or oil pastel. Students will now learn about analogous colors and choose three or four colors that they have not used on their animal to provide contrast in the artwork. 5. Demonstrate wet-on-wet painting and show them how to generously wet half of the background, then drop/drip watercolor paint into the wet area, using all their color choices. They can repeat the process on the other half of the background. 6. On the completely dried paper, students will now use dotting tools (cotton swabs, toothpicks) dipped in black tempera to make black dots that follow the outline of the animal, varying the sizes of the dots to make a pattern. They can use as many dots as they choose (even out to the edges of the paper). To make accessing paint easy for them, black tempera can be poured onto a pad made of paper towels resting on a foam tray. Adaptation for Younger Students Younger students can do a similar project drawn on much smaller paper (6” × 6”) but can use cotton swabs or pencil erasers to control paint spreading. A folded pad of two slightly dampened paper towels can have a small amount of several colored tempera paint to be used to make an entire Australian Aboriginal painting, making sure that the animal is painted in a different grouping of colors than the background.




Aboriginal Dot Painting Grades–3–5 Curriculum connections–language arts, social studies Time needed–4–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, shape, color, pattern, balance, variety, movement, contrast, emphasis

Materials–12” × 18” construction paper in various grayed tones, pencil, ruler, circle stencil, tempera paint, cotton craft swabs with 6” wood shaft, available in packs of 100, Q-tips, back of paint brushes, or pencil erasers

Vocabulary–Aboriginal, color scheme, center of interest

Background Information Authentic Aboriginal dot paintings are known to tell a story. Each symbol used has a meaning. Some say the symbols are a sort of secret code. Dot paintings have been done on a variety of surfaces including in caves and on rocks, leaves, and bark. It is thought that some paintings are translated to be maps, showing the paths of ancestors.

Figure 5.7  Aboriginal Dot Painting, Gianna Rich, Grade 5, tempera paint, 12” × 18”, Ross Elementary School, Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher ­Lauren Schaefer.


Preparation Develop a slideshow of Aboriginal dot paintings to discuss with background information. Post any available images (posters or prints from the Internet). Decide on the color selections you would like to give the class. The paintings could be done in neutral tones or in a particular color scheme that you choose, such as primary, secondary, complementary, and so on. Have a color wheel posted for reference. Experiment with various dotting tools to decide upon the choices you would like to provide for the class. Find Styrofoam or other flat trays for the paint, so that students can dip easily. Prepare the paint choices for each table. Process 1. During your presentation, have students guess at what some of the symbols might mean. They should begin to think of the story they would like to tell with their own symbols. Ask what types of symbols would make their own painting reflect an Aboriginal style? How many different symbols do they see in one painting? 2. Ask students to lightly draw their image on the paper, making sure to draw big and fill the entire page. 3. Demonstrate dotting white dots neatly on the drawn pencil lines. Give advice on paint control so that accidental dripping or smearing is minimized. 4. After discussing the color options you wish to give the class, they should pick one color and dot all the way around the white dots. 5. They should continue that process, working outward. 6. Different colors can be used inside the paths and circles if the artist chooses. Curriculum Connections

Social Studies/Language Arts Students could research and report on when, why, where, and how Aboriginal dot paintings were created. What was the purpose of the paintings? Why are they still valued today? Write about your painting. Students could also write an essay on the story behind their own painting. What do each of the symbols mean? How do they relate to each other to tell a story?




“Leaf” It to Me Grades–K-8 Curriculum connection–science Time needed–1–2 class periods Elements and principles of art–value, space, color, variety, contrast, emphasis

Materials–thin fresh leaves (a variety of sizes and shapes), cake watercolors (large sets with more variety are nice, large brushes), 12” × 12” watercolor paper or white construction paper

Vocabulary–picture plane, wash, repetition, dominance/subordination

Figure 5.8a and 5.8b  Fall Leaves, teacher examples, 1914, print on watercolor paper, 8” × 10”. Thin leaves were selected and placed vein-side up on paper with a light-colored background (still wet). The leaves were then painted around (on still-damp paper) with light, medium, and dark values of different colors. The paintings were left in place to dry overnight.

Background Information This project challenges students to consider the entire picture plane. Have students be on the lookout for the "happy accident" that gives a beautiful effect. Students need to consider value, form, and space while having one dominant element. This could be the largest leaf or the brightest area. Preparation In the fall, in parts of the country, it is simply a tradition to do a "leaf project." It is a good time to take students outside to gather fresh leaves (although you could always simply bring in a sack full of fresh leaves if class time does not allow the gathering


process). Remind students to select several different kinds of freshly picked thin leaves (e.g., maple). This project could be done with several varieties of leaves or several sizes of leaves from one tree. The color of the leaf is not important. Pinch off the stems where they are joined to the leaves for best results. Caution students against overworking the paper, as it quickly becomes soggy and muddy looking. Process 1. Direct students to write their names on the back of the paper. Show them how to use two fingers to pinch off the stem of the leaf. Demonstrate how to paint the entire paper with a very light value of one color (e.g., yellow, light blue, or light pink). While the paper is still quite wet, demonstrate how to place the upper side of the largest leaf into the still-wet area. The underside (vein-side) of the leaf is facing up. Don’t allow the paper to dry; suggest they keep adding water and color to keep the paper damp. 2. Add more leaves using the same technique of removing the stem before placing each leaf. When all the leaves are in place, use a dabbing technique with the brush to paint color around each leaf. First apply a light color different from the background, then a medium color, then a darker color. Continue to work color all over the paper, leaving some areas light and making some areas dark. The colors will run together, and some will creep underneath the leaf, which acts as a stencil. Use the brush to poke down a leaf it if starts to curl up at the edges. (Avoid using brown or black because these colors deaden the painting.) The leaves will remain in place until the paper is completely dry (the next day). When a painting is finished, it is set aside to dry. There is usually time for students to make more than one of these paintings during a class period. 3. After removing the leaves the next day, if the painting has turned out well, it needs no more work. However, if students consider that the painting is weak and could be better, there are several ways to change this composition. The following are some options for them to consider as they select a final painting for display: ••Demonstrate spattering: What would happen if you were to "charge" the brush with a dark color and hit it against your forefinger, splattering small dark spots all over the painting? ••Does it need to be lighter? What about using white tempera to do the spattering? ••Would the composition be improved by adding darker watercolor somewhere after it has dried? ••Another possibility is to select the leaves from one composition and carefully cut them out, pasting them onto another composition, possibly on a dark background. ••Use a fine-line black marker to carefully draw around the leaves and some of the other shapes made by the watercolor. 4. When the composition is complete, provide paper or a mat for each student to display.


134 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Adaptation for Younger Students The teacher who developed this project, Charlotte Headrick of the Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri, suggests young students paint only a yellow background while older students understand that very light washes of other colors are also effective backgrounds. Curriculum Connection

Science Group project—tree research. Older students may select a tree variety common in their region to do research, presenting information about one tree to the class (softwood or hardwood); showing leaf shapes and differences in color in the fall; drawings of the shape when barren; spring blossoms (if any); seeds that are “sent out"; shape of tree full of leaves in summer, etc.


Sunflowers and Irises Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–science, language arts Time needed–3–4 class periods

Materials–12” × 18” or 18” × 24” drawing paper, water-soluble crayons or oil pastels, brushes, newspaper

Elements and principles of art–color, shape, value, variety, emphasis Vocabulary–still life, watercolor crayons

Background Information A painting lesson about flowers gives you a chance to teach about Vincent van Gogh and his obsession with light and working outdoors. Preparation Show students a reproduction of van Gogh’s paintings of sunflowers or of irises, Try to time this project for a season when sunflowers, irises, or wildflowers are available (note: silk flowers are also a good substitute). Place containers of the flowers close to small groups of students so they can really paint from observation. Have them look carefully to see that some of the flowers will be in buds. Students might do only the portion of the flower that they actually see. Point out variations in colors to the students and encourage them to color vigorously, combining colors before adding the water.


Figure 5.9  Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh, 1853–1890, Dutch, oil on canvas, 29¼” × 36 1/8”, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California.

Note: Water-soluble crayons may be used to color dry paper, adding clear water with a brush to dissolve the crayon pigment. These crayons may also be used to draw on paper that has been wetted. Process Vincent van Gogh loved to paint in the outdoors. He painted fields of growing crops and especially loved painting sunflowers and irises. 1. Have students plan their composition before beginning. They may draw the flowers in a vase on a table, or as if they are growing in the ground. Show them how to use a finger to "trace" the flowers on the paper, considering where the largest flowers will be and imagining how the rest of the space will be used. 2. Irises. Irises can be almost any color, but some are a combination of white and purple petals. Flowers that are one hue will still have light, middle, and dark values on each petal, and often have a fuzzy yellow area on the inside of the lowest petals. 3. Sunflowers. Although they are basically yellow, it may be suggested to students to look closely at the petals, which also have areas that are green or orange. Some


136 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS of the shadowed areas in the flower might also be interesting if they add a little violet to the petals. The centers might be green or brown. Although they will be coloring the stems and leaves green, they will be more interesting if they also combine blue and yellow with the green. 4. If students decide to draw flowers in a vase, the container should be shown resting on a table. A line across the page will represent the table, and the flowers won’t appear to simply be floating on the background. 5. Demonstrate dipping the brush in clean water and applying it on top of the drawing. The watercolor crayons will dissolve to appear like a watercolor. To emphasize an area, the damp areas can be drawn on to add more color. Adaptations for Younger Students Art teacher Linda Sachs lets her young students finger paint sunflowers on black paper (see Leila Arehart’s Three Sunflowers at the beginning of this chapter). Students are given a limited palette of yellow and orange. They make one or more large round circles, then add yellow and orange with a finger, starting from the circle and moving outward from it to make sunflower leaves. They put yellow dots in the center when the flowers are completed. Have them fill in the background with dark colors of traditional pastels, which they can blend by using a tissue. Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings were the inspiration for this project for Kindergarten youngsters. Alternative Projects Giant flowers—Bump the edges. Georgia O’Keeffe’s giant flowers are also a source of inspiration for students. When forced to look closely at a flower, they have an appreciation for the exquisite details they see. Suggest they force their flower to "bump the edges" or run off the page, or to make their flower so large that only a portion of it shows. Curriculum Connections

Science Plant your subject. Allow students to plant their own sunflower seeds or iris bulbs outdoors. Many elementary schools have a small garden plot and outdoor learning center. Planting bulbs in the fall gives students something to look forward to for the spring. Or plant sunflower seeds in the spring for a fall crop. Start them indoors in small soil-filled pots. And when the region where you live has had a full week of 70-degree spring weather, it is time to put them in the ground outdoors. Botanical drawing. In the manner of a scientific botanical drawing, students can draw or carefully paint a flower, then identify its various parts by writing directly on the page. If students understand the parts of a plant, they will be much more careful to make their flower drawings look realistic.


LANGUAGE ARTS Tell me about van Gogh. Students might enjoy researching the lives of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, making posters for the entire class to use. These could include a brief biography, an image of the artist himself, and images of the artist’s work. The students’ paintings can be based on the works of that artist.


Fantasy or Surrealistic Art Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–3–4 class periods

Materials–newsprint, drawing paper, pencils, materials for collage, tempera paint, marker, ink, colored pencils, scissors

Elements and principles of art–texture, contrast Vocabulary–stream-of-consciousness writing, mixed media, collage, foreground, middleground, background

Figure 5.10a  Summer, 1563, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1527–1593, Italian, oil on panel, 67 × 51 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.



Figure 5.10b  Water, 1566, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1527–1593, Italian, oil on panel, 67 × 52 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. This image contains more than 60 species of marine life, including seals, turtles, sharks, crabs, oysters, and coral.

Background Information Artists have often been compared to children for the sense of playfulness they show in their artwork. Fantasy and surrealism are normal ingredients in the early art of many children, but these unfortunately often become lost as the children grow older. Show the students pictures of some fantasy artists throughout the history of art. Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo did fantasy faces. Two artists whose work was often based on childhood memories are Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali. Other surrealists are Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, and René Magritte. Contemporary artists also create unlikely combinations, such as Jeff Koons’s giant stainless-steel Energizer Bunny. Preparation The following are some suggestions for leading students to surrealism: •• Talk about the concept of mixed media. It simply means that any combination of materials can be used by an artist. Suggest that students may want to use portions of a previous artwork, a magazine cut-out, handmade paper, or any other collage materials for this project.


•• Cut copy paper into small Post-it-sized pieces. Have every student write three nouns on three separate pieces of paper. Fold these and put them in a “hat” (any container you have around). Then have each student pull three pieces of paper from the hat. Those three nouns would be the basis of the composition (e.g., bicycle/face /flower or car/ice cream cone/cell phone). Process 1. In creating an artwork from imagination, remember that it doesn’t need to look real. Fantasy or surrealist art comes from the imagination and can have a dreamlike quality in which nothing really makes sense. Here are some ways to approach a composition: ••Transform something real by combining it with something totally foreign (e.g., a human form with a flower face, or a car with feet instead of wheels). ••Take something real and have it DO something “unreal” (Salvador Dali’s melting watches would be a good example). ••Make the subject much larger than anything else in the picture. ••Make a realistic background, with strange objects in the foreground. ••Select totally unrelated objects and group them together. 2. Have students draw several thumbnail pencil sketches on newsprint before trying the idea on good paper. They will probably have some wild ideas while doing these sketches. They can sometimes combine several sketches to make a total composition. 3. Suggest that they might enlarge some of the objects on newsprint, then cut them out and move them around to find where they look best before redrawing around them. They can overlap objects or combine them. 4. Mention that they might make the main objects large enough so there is not a tremendous amount of empty space. They might want to consider having size differences with a foreground, middle ground, and background. 5. When their lightly drawn design is complete, they will paint or color the composition, considering that color can be used to make something stand out or be almost hidden. It is never too late to turn it into a collage by adding a surprise object or texture to a painting. Curriculum Connections

Language Nouns, verbs, adjectives. Have a student write these three headings on a piece of paper: “Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives.” Without telling them what they will do, have the students make lists of at least six items under each heading. (It would be lovely if you could coordinate this with the classroom teacher and they arrive at the art class with their three lists.) They then must select one item from each list from which to make a fantasy composition.


140 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Stream-of-consciousness writing. Surrealism (a French word that literally means “above reality”) was an outgrowth of a writing movement that explored the subconscious. Suggest that students try writing words as they come to mind, allowing one word to lead to another, not even trying to make connections, but just as their minds constantly jump from one subject to another, allowing those thoughts to be put on paper. After a 5-minute session, suggest they compose a sentence using at least three of the words they have written.

Figure 5.10c  Nick Fozzy, eighth grader, LaSalle Springs Middle School, created this fantasy.


Mixed Media

Introduction Collage (which comes from the French word coller, meaning “to glue”) is the reason why art teachers never throw anything away. It is for this that you save scraps of paper, yarn, marbleized paper, and wrapping paper. Collage can be made either entirely from one material or from combinations of materials. Just remember that it needs to be taken beyond cut-and-paste. Collage can be wonderful, and it can be terrible! It’s wonderful for building confidence in young people who are uncertain of their skills in art, or who have difficulty drawing what they see. It’s terrible, however, when students are simply given printed material and allowed to cut out too many images and paste them on a piece of paper. These all tend to look exactly alike and are so crowded that everything is seen—and nothing is seen. Examples of the work of many artists can be shown to inspire students in collage. Young people are very interested in surrealism, another French word, which means “above reality.” The surrealists—such as René Magritte, Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali— use unlikely objects in landscapes (such as Magritte’s sky full of open umbrellas or Dali’s melting-watch-dotted landscapes). Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque popularized collage with their early-twentieth-century Cubist collages using words from newspapers and materials such as oilcloth. Henri Matisse, when he could no longer paint, began a second career with his cut-and-pasted, hand-painted paper shapes based on life forms from nature.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR WORKING IN COLLAGE Mixed media could be anything! Artists have so many choices when they create a work of art, whether they are still learners or established artists. They may be attracted to soft materials; trash of any kind; things found in nature such as sticks, stones, and bones; and traditional art-making materials found in classrooms and art supply stores and catalogs.



Figure 6.0  Beasts of the Sea, 1950, Henri Matisse, 1869–1954, French, collage on canvas. 116 1/8” × 60 1/8”, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alisa ­Mellon Bruce Fund, Succession H. Matisse, Paris//Artists Rights Society, Artists Rights Society New York. Matisse’s paper cuttings are universally recognized collages, bringing the art of paper cutting into the mainstream.

Materials for making a collage include a base such as heavy watercolor paper, poster board or matboard, scissors, a brush, old magazines, and envelopes. Appropriate glues are: polymer medium or thinned white glue. Thinned YES glue (and a covered container for thinned YES glue), or PVA (polyvinyl acetate glue) lie flat when glued to most paper.

TEXTURAL MATERIALS ADD CHARACTER Locate handmade paper, mesh onion or potato bags, interesting wrapping materials, corn husks, raffia, cloth, wallpaper, treated paper from old prints, watercolors, marbled paper, handmade paper, rubbings, and leaf prints. Students may choose to use photocopies of their own photos or magazine photos, which can be transferred to paper or a collage by dabbing oil of wintergreen or Ben Gay® on the back of a photocopy and rubbing firmly on the back with pencil (fresh copies work best). Or reproduce an inkjet print onto a pre-stretched canvas by coating it with gel medium. Turn the print face down on the canvas, and you can complete the transfer by using the edge of an old credit card or school ID.

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Landscape Collages and Poetry Grades–3–5 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, color, variety, pattern, balance, emphasis, movement, contrast

Materials–12” × 18” white paper, pencil, Sharpie marker, collage papers (newspaper, ­patterned paper, tissue paper, painted paper, etc.), watered-down glue, and brushes Vocabulary–collage, landscape

Figure 6.1  Volcano Attack, Lola Compton, Grade 4, landscape collage with poetry, mixed media, 12” × 18”. The collage/poem project was a cooperative lesson between art teacher Lauren Schaefer and classroom teachers Sherry Neifert and ­Shannon Leon at Ross School, Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri.


144 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information Collage is a new art form to some students. Some may think it is just tearing up different kinds of paper into one picture, but it is so much more. Famous artists who have used the collage method include Pablo Picasso (Compotier Avec Fruits, 1912; ­Violon et Verre, 1912); Georges Braque (Fruit Dish and Glass, 1912); and Henri Matisse (Le ­Lanceur De Couteaux, 1947, and The Sorrow of the King, 1952). You may find these and other works on the Internet by searching for famous collage artists. As with any other kind of art, the key to success is the use of the elements and principles of design. Preparation Prepare a slideshow of Internet collages from art history as well as current artists working with this media. Discuss the variety of textures used and how the artist moves the viewer’s eye to the point of emphasis. Also prepare examples of landscapes that can be achieved with the collage method. Hang around the classroom any available visuals of landscapes that could be interpreted with collage. Gather a supply of collage materials to have ready for the class. Consider colored scrap paper, metallic paper, tissue paper, textured and patterned paper, magazine pages, sandpapers, corrugated paper, thin cardboard, etc. Prepare watered-down glue or polymer medium in cups for each table. Process 1. Students should sketch at least four different ideas for landscapes on a sketchpad or practice paper. Encourage larger shapes that are more conducive to the collage method. 2. After choosing a favorite, they should sketch the main forms on 12” × 18” white paper. 3. Next, have them trace over all lines with black Sharpie. 4. Students should start collaging one area at a time. Brush down glue, tear small pieces and place neatly in a section, and brush glue over the top. Repeat until completed, remembering to use papers in each area to contrast other adjoining areas. They will need enough variety for interest, but not enough for confusion. 5. At the end, have them go over lines in Sharpie to offer better contrast. 6. Consider having students critique their work on the back. What was their area of strength and area for improvement? What material was their favorite to use? How did they make one part more important than other parts of the picture? Curriculum Connection Language arts. Students should write a short poem to be displayed with their artwork that tells the story of their collage.

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Family or Group Portrait Grades–1–4 Curriculum connections–social studies, language arts Time needed–2–3 class periods

Materials–12” × 18” drawing paper, pencil, scissors, miscellaneous cloth samples approximately 4” × 6”, thinned white glue, fine-line markers and regular-size markers

Elements and principles of art–emphasis, value, color, line, shape, emphasis Vocabulary–portraits, mixed-media, background, outline, fabric, garment, plain or patterned paper

Figure 6.2a  The Griesenauer Family in Their Kitchen, Peyton Griesenauer, Grade 1, mixed media, cloth, marker, 12” × 18”, Ridge Meadows School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs.

Background Information Today, family and group portraits are usually taken with cameras or cell phones. Before the invention of the first camera in 1816, a family portrait meant that the family had to pose together for a long time while an artist finished painting their picture. Royalty (kings, queens, or empresses) hired artists to paint portraits of themselves and their families dressed in their best clothes, sometimes even including the family dog. Many artists painted their own family portraits—Cornelis De Vos, for example, titled his family portrait as The Family of the Artist. Men’s and women’s societies also posed for group portraits, such as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and Frans Hals’s Women Regents.



Figure 6.2b  The Nightwatch (Militia Company of District II under the Command of ­Captain Frans Banninck Cocq), 1642, Rembrandt Van Rijn, 1606–1669, Dutch, oil on canvas, 11’91” × 14’34”, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Preparation This family “portrait” project was developed by art teacher Linda Sachs in her school’s art studio. Ask students to make a mixed-media collage of their family. Suggest students cut pieces of fabric to “fit” the size of the members of their family. A variety of smallish pre-cut pieces of lightweight cotton are usually available in local quilt or fabric stores. Or ask parents to send in scrap cloth. As you are presenting this lesson, be inclusive to all types of families such as single parent, same sex, or multigenerational living. Remind students that they are the important figure, and others of the same household are larger or smaller than themselves. Process 1. Tell students to select a place where their family can be shown all together. This might be in a park, the kitchen (as shown in this illustration), or the family room. 2. Have students cut out pieces of plain or patterned fabric to make clothing for every member of their family, even a baby (or a family dog). Suggest they use combinations of a non-patterned fabric for a skirt or pants and a patterned fabric for

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a top. They would not normally wear two different patterns to school, so remind them that, when they are “dressing” their family, something such as jeans or a top might be a plain color. 3. After they have cut pieces of fabric to make clothes for family members, show them how to move these pieces of cloth around on the paper until they find a place in the composition for each family member. Have them use pencil to lightly draw a figure (head, arms, legs, hands) to fit inside the clothes they have cut. 4. When the fabric is glued in place, have students use a black marker to draw an outline for every member of their family. They should then draw outlines on the background “location” to later complete with colored markers. 5. The last thing to do is to write the last name of the family at the top of the painting, and each person’s or pet’s name. Adaptations for Younger Students You can facilitate the difficulty of cutting fabric for young students by having various pre-cut small scraps of fabric available from which they can select. Curriculum Connection

Social Studies—The Family Tree A family tree could be done with each face drawn on an oval background, just as old-fashioned portraits used to be. This is a good time for students to identify family roots such as grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and they can understand what family roots and each branch means. The tree itself should look a little realistic, even though the ovals are relatives’ faces. This could also be done by cutting out and using photos.


Castle Grade–3–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–2–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–variety, line, color, emphasis Vocabulary–medieval, crenellation, moat, palaces, plain, siege, watercolor wash, bleed, happy accident, sketch

Materials–Sharpie, watercolor markers, watercolors, white paper, pencil



Figure 6.3  Castle, David Packard, created in Grade 5, mixed media, Reed School, Ladue School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Packard.

Background Information Many students may never have an opportunity to see an actual castle, but they love learning about the lives of people who built and lived in them: the knights and their families. Most real castles were built between 1050 and 1350 and offered refuge from warfare to the surrounding townspeople. Later, palaces, often much larger than castles, were where wealthy landowners and royalty lived, but the castle’s self-defensive measures were not needed except during the earlier time. Students may be familiar with the make-believe castle at Disneyland that is modeled on a nineteenth-century palace—Neuschwanstein in the Bavarian Alps. Most castles were not built at one time but were added onto as more space was needed. The castles often built on hilltops were more easily defended than those that were on level ground and could only be reached from one direction. Most of them featured towers at the corners where sentries could see approaching enemies from a long distance away. The tops of walls often had openings spaced at intervals (crenellation) so that archers could shoot arrows at enemies and then safely hide behind a wall. Some castles on flatter ground were surrounded by moats, bodies of water that did not allow easy access to invaders. The castles were mostly occupied by the nobility and their servants unless townspeople needed to move there for protection during a siege. Most were built of stone, with high, thick walls to resist climbing. The castles had an inside well and storage for food, and there was room inside the walls for horses and soldiers. Preparation Test the effect of the black markers you plan to use on watercolor paint. Prepare students for the effect of water-based black markers when they add watercolor to a drawing. The effect of the black drawing losing its sharpness may make students

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feel they have failed, when in reality the charm of this technique is the bleeding effect of the marker into the watercolor. You could call this the “happy accident” that all should look for. The rather controlled drawings of a castle, with its straight walls, rounded or pointed towers, stone walls, bricks, crenellation, etc., will look different when watercolor is added to the drawing and the black marker bleeds. Research castle images on the Internet. Compile a visual presentation of parts of castles, as well as whole castles in various parts of the world. Students might have a choice of materials, either doing a drawing or building a three-dimensional castle. Process After your presentation on castles, have students discuss what types of things most castles have in common. Encourage them to include their favorite ideas from the presentation into their artwork. Prepare the students for the fact that the black marker lines will bleed into the background when watercolors are added. 1. Have students consider whether their castle will be high on a hill or on a plain near a river. The castle cannot just float in empty space. If it is on a hill, there should be a path leading upward. Many hilltop castles are surrounded by small homes near the base of the hill for the townspeople or servants who work in the castle. On a flat piece of land, the castle might be surrounded by a moat of water all around for protection, and even have a drawbridge that can be pulled straight up to block invaders. The castle cannot just float in the air. Students need to know that you expect a finished artwork. That means that the castle is anchored to the ground, possibly surrounded by trees and shrubbery. 2. Students can lightly draw an outline of the castle, including details such as the entrance and towers. They should then go over the lines with a water-based Sharpie marker. If they want to do their own research in advance, they may choose to make small sketches of some castle details such as the stone of which castles were often constructed. 3. When students are satisfied that the marker drawing is complete, they can add a watercolor wash (diluted colors) and fill in areas with several different colors of watercolor. The black marker will bleed (run). Or they may choose to fill in the castle with brightly colored markers. 4. If students prefer, they may go over the outlines again with black markers when the painting has dried. Curriculum Connection

Social Studies Students can research various aspects of Medieval life. Libraries and the Internet offer much information about Medieval weapons, defense, armor, clothing, music, food, battles, and art.




My Hero Grades–4–8 Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–contrast, color, variety, emphasis, space

Materials–14-ply poster board or foam core (sometimes available in color), polymer medium, brushes, scissors

Vocabulary–adhere, theme, role model, ancestor

Figure 6.4  Mound Magician, 1997. Radcliffe Bailey, 1968, American, paint, canvas, paper, wood, cardboard, cloth, Plexiglas, baseballs, feathers, and other media on plywood, 9’7” × 14’ × 26”. Purchase: gift of the Unus Foundation and Marc and Elizabeth Wilson in honor of John J. “Buck” O’Neil, © Radcliffe Bailey, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Background Information The artwork shown here is a giant collage by artist Radcliffe Bailey (b. 1968). It was a tribute to Radcliffe’s baseball hero, pitcher “Buck” O’Neil (1911–2006), a member of the Kansas City Monarchs Team in the Negro American Baseball League. He later became the first African American Scout for a National League team, the Kansas City Royals, a Yankee farm team, and was elected to the Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame! O’Neil was a founding member of the amazing Negro American League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Bailey’s collage is huge, made on wood, and its fan shape is approximately the outside shape of a baseball field. The artwork is titled Mound Magician, and features Buck O’Neil’s playing number (25) painted on the pitcher’s mound in the center. Photos of the team and cut-out words from newspapers are pasted on. The large collage is outstanding not only because of its size, but because of the bright colors of paper rectangles that contrast against the black-and-brown background.

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Preparation After each student has selected a personal real hero, challenge them to find out as much about this person as possible. They can do Internet or library research, trying to find photos and articles, and then make an artwork using what they have found. The supporting background should be something like a foam core or 14-ply poster board that is sturdy enough to stand upright when paper is glued to it. Particularly remind students that their artwork should be colorful, and not just printed words. Tell them they are creating a piece of art, not a collage of mostly black-and-white photos. That kind of collage made of only printed materials is sometimes crowded and glued onto a background without consideration of color, background, and space. Without a theme, or a hero, this collage will not be effective. Process 1. Have students think about a person who might be their hero. A hero is sometimes a famous person—or not so famous, but someone they look up to. Have them list people such as a Scout leader, a favorite musician, a ballet dancer, a baseball player, an ancestor or a family member. A role-model is someone whom they might like to be! They need to find out more about this person. Perhaps a book has been written about him or her. Perhaps they can find pictures and information on the Internet. If their hero isn’t famous, then they need to find out what he or she likes—to do, to eat, to do for fun, to work at, hobbies, etc. Or they might like to find out what their hero loved to do when he or she was young—jump rope, ride a bicycle, go camping, play with a dog, attend school, etc. 2. When they have information, have them think about how they are going to show it. They should consider the background they will use to make a collage that is not just information about their favorite person, but also a work of art. The background may not be rectangular, but some other interesting shape they choose to make by cutting. Radcliffe Bailey’s large collage about his hero is shaped like a baseball field. The background may include printed words and pictures, but also painted color, and enough space to allow the important parts to show. No white background or blank spots should show through their painting. 3. Before gluing anything down, suggest they take the time to select everything that they intend to use, and try various arrangements. When an open space appears, have them consider painting it or filling it in with cut or torn colored paper. They may choose to glue on something that will stick out into space. Or they might have to add something by attaching it with wire from the underside to make sure it adheres. 4. Tell students to be prepared to answer questions people may ask about their hero. If they want other people to learn something about their hero that is not visible in the artwork, how could they show it in some way?




Picture the Music Grades–K-8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–2–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, line, space, pattern, movement, emphasis

Materials–12” × 16” drawing paper, a flexible small mannequin, watercolors, brushes, water containers, markers, oil pastels, yellow chalk, acrylic paint, crayons, glue, musical scores, ­collage materials

Vocabulary–musical scores, composer, air drawings, resist, firmly, collage, rhythm, mixed-media

Background Information Artists through the ages have found that listening to music while painting or drawing is soothing and inspiring. The choice of music may influence color choices and rhythms within the painting. It is interesting to compare artwork and music during different time periods or cultures. For example, it is easy to find a relationship between the Australian digeridoo and the patterned artwork of Aboriginal painters. Artist Georgia O’Keeffe was fascinated, as she said, with “the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye.” The student illustration by Savanna Belt was selected as the Maestro Winner of Picture the Music by a professional judging panel at the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association’s annual event. The annual winner is framed and exhibited in the lobby of the Symphony’s Powell Hall for 1 year.

Figure 6.5a  The Power of Music, Savanna Belt, Grade 6, mixed media print on paper, 12” × 18”, Valley Middle School, Northwest R1 school district, Missouri. Art teacher Brenna Roth.

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Figure 6.5b  The Conductor, Dominic Bommarito, Grade 2, tempera on paper, 12” × 18”, Eureka Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs. You can tell by The Conductor’s arm movement that he is directing the symphony orchestra in a selection that the musicians must play rapidly (in this case, it was the Ritual Fire Dance by Manuel De Falla, which the students had seen recently in a live performance).

If you choose to use music to inspire students, find a musical selection of about five minutes. Share information about the composer, the title of the musical selection, and what might have inspired this music. Preparation Explain to the students that they will be creating art after listening to a musical selection. Ask them to listen carefully to hear the color, line, rhythm, or repetition of music (these are art terms also). Tell them it doesn’t matter whether their artwork has a subject, or what color it is. It is their artwork, and their decision about what they put on paper. This is an ideal interdisciplinary project, as art, music, or classroom teachers might work on it together. A musical selection of under 5 minutes is recommended for students to hear repeatedly while they paint or draw. Have students close their eyes the first time they listen to the music. If they have been fortunate enough to go to a concert, their memories of the performance may be what they saw on-stage—or heard! Some students may work abstractly to interpret high and low notes, others might be interested in the rhythm of instruments they recognize. Still others may try to more literally interpret people in appropriate dress, dancing to the music.


154 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Process 1. Offer students a choice of media for paper projects. Or suggest that they might want to use a combination of media. Teachers who encourage “choice” are often delighted to see that students already instinctively know how to make beautiful art. If your students are unfamiliar with how to effectively use the media listed in the following text, give them a quick overview or demonstration. Allow enough time for this project! A large piece of paper requires more planning and finishing time. Here are a few choices of materials you might suggest students use: ••Watercolor. Demonstrate the use of watercolors, talking about value and intensity. ••Collage. When students have finished painting, it is possible to add emphasis with collage (torn or cut paper) or a gold or silver marker. Another option is to combine small pieces of musical score photocopies with drawings or paintings. ••Marker. With the variety of markers available, they can make interesting drawings. Demonstrate to the students how to work neatly to fill in an area. ••Allow a tempera or acrylic painting to dry, then outline with marker or crayon. ••Before actually drawing or painting, while listening to the music one more time, demonstrate “air drawings,” as sometimes done by the famous painter Henri Matisse before he put a single mark on paper. Or suggest they use a finger or yellow chalk to draw an outline on their paper. 2. When students are satisfied that the artwork is complete, ask them to consider it carefully, then give a title to their composition. The title may be related to the musical selection, but more likely the artwork will suggest its name to them. Have them write the title of the artwork and the title of the music they were listening to on the back of the work. If this is an abstract composition, ask the artists to draw an arrow on the back to show which way is “up.” Adaptations for Younger Students A sheet of paper 12” × 18” is too large for primary students to cover effectively with crayon. Substitute a smaller sheet of paper or encourage painting or drawing with oil pastel. When they paint with watercolor on top of the pastel, they will find that the crayon or oil crayon resists the paint. Curriculum Connection

Language Arts—Express the Music For older students, music can be used to inspire writing. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Association sponsors a regional “Express the Music” competition for middle and high school students based on a recording of a symphony performance. Writing to the music requires quiet listening time and reflection and yields truly amazing writing. Students can be challenged to write a poem, or a memory about the “place” they think of when they hear this performance.

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Inch by Inch Grades–2–8 Time needed–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–variety, pattern, line, color

Materials–background music to paint by, 12” × 18” paper, ruler, white oil pastel, paper varieties (shiny, patterned), music reproductions, watercolor, brushes, black permanent marker

Vocabulary–grid, free-hand, emphasis, title

Background Information Second grader Reese Vogelsang decided to make a grid free-hand. She drew both horizontal and vertical lines approximately 1” apart without using a ruler. This project was completed in art teacher Linda Sachs’s TAB/choice-based art studio, where students have a variety of equipment and materials easily available in labeled

Figure 6.6  Fire Love, Reese Vogelsang, Grade 2, mixed media, 12” × 18”, Ridge Meadows School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Sachs. Students were told the story about a Gypsy girl who danced around a fire while drums played rapidly.


156 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS drawers. This project would look quite different if an older student uses a ruler or yardstick to help in drawing a 1” grid. Preparation In a choice-based art studio, most students in primary grades have been taught basic picture-making skills in sketching, painting, cutting paper, and gluing. Show students the size of the white background paper they will use, pointing out that that the paper is quite large, and that it may be used in either direction, vertically or horizontally. A grid might be made using white oil pastel. If they intend to show figures, it would be best to draw the figure(s) before making grid lines. Process 1. Demonstrate how to use a ruler to make a mark along 1” intervals at the top, sides, and bottom of the paper. Students may choose to work within a grid but have a choice as to whether they would prefer to draw it free-hand or make straight lines with a ruler. They should draw around anything they want to emphasize, but oil pastel is wonderful because it is easy to use and covers up any possible “mistakes.” Suggest a variety of other art-making materials from which they may choose. 2. Watercolor paint can be used to fill in some of the squares of a grid, but varied kinds of paper (shiny, dull, or textured) can be cut into 1” squares and pasted into place. The square-fillers might even include musical notes (either drawn or pasted). 3. Have students look over their finished composition to see if there is any place where the addition of paper, watercolor paint, oil pastel, or marker can be used to improve it. 4. Expect your students to title their composition. It is good practice for them to get into and helps them realize that they are indeed real artists.


Me—In Action Grades–3–8 Time needed–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–emphasis, line, color Vocabulary–contour-drawing, joint

Materials–12” × 16” drawing paper, watercolors, Sharpie markers

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Figure 6.7a  The Fire Ballet, Katherine Byergo, Grade 5, mixed media, 12” × 18”, ­Claymont Elementary School, Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Carrie Finnestead.

Background Information Students are often asked to show in art what their interests are, whether it is to play a team sport, do gymnastics, sing in a choir, take dance lessons, or play the guitar. Many of these non-school activities require that the student wear a uniform or costume of some sort. The dancer in the above painting is wearing a long, uneven ballet skirt (not a tutu) and trailing a scarf-like object high above and behind her. The young artist who did this painting says that the “scarf” at the top is actually fire with which she is running, and the emoji signs she used along the edges of the “scarf” represent the ashes left by the fire. Preparation Action pose, wearing appropriate “uniform.” Students can choose to paint themselves in an action pose wearing special clothing of any kind: a sports uniform, ordinary clothes while playing a musical instrument, or special clothes worn for gymnastics or swimming. Introduce students to drawing a figure in action by reminding them that the legs and arms bend at the joints (elbows, hands, legs, and feet). You could demonstrate this movement by showing the movement of a wooden action model.


158 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Process 1. The picture may be lightly drawn in pencil before beginning to paint. Show students that they can use lightly drawn ovals to make portions of the arms and legs, adjusting them to bend at the elbows and knees. If they feel their own legs and arms, they notice that these ovals are smaller at the ends where they connect with the feet and hands. Perhaps one student will allow you to position him or her as the model, so that they can draw from “life.” These poses should never last longer than 2 minutes. 2. Watercolor is often effectively mixed by combining closely related colors in the lid of the box. If they are working on a large sheet of paper, encourage students to mix enough color that they will have enough to cover a specific area.

Figure 6.7b  Ballet Dancers in the Wings, c. 1890–1900, Edgar Degas, 1834–1917, pastel on paper, 28” × 26”, Saint Louis Art Museum.

Alternative Project

Soft Pastel The French Impressionists were a group of friends in Paris who often painted together and had a similar style. One of them, Edgar Degas, a sculptor and painter, preferred to use soft pastels. He sometimes drew young ballerinas in relaxed positions, such

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as when they were putting on their ballet shoes before going onstage to perform. Soft pastels are applied by applying the darkest colors first, then gradually applying lighter colors. They can be blended with a finger, brush, or tissue. Adaptations for Younger Students Distribute pre-cut short strips of dark construction paper to help young students comprehend how to show the human figure’s movement. Some strips will be thinner and shorter (arms) and some thicker (legs). The students can cut rounded or oval pieces for the torso, head, hands, and feet. These movable pieces of paper allow them to show movement and to make more changes than drawing a “stick figure” would and improves their awareness of joints. Direct them to make an action figure on a 9” × 12” light background paper, showing a pose such as running, sitting, standing with hands on hips, or jumping rope. If they prefer to “dress” the model in a different color, this is a good time to teach them how to cut scraps of paper or cloth and how to glue neatly.


Art Deco Design Grades–5–8 Curriculum connections–social studies, science, language arts, math Time needed–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, shape, pattern, emphasis, repetition

Materials–newsprint; 6” × 9” or 8½” × 11” tagboard or card stock; ruler; pencil; scissors; glue; polymer medium; brushes; printer’s ink, brayer; white, silver, or colored printing paper, masking tape

Vocabulary–motif, highlight, bas-relief, art deco, streamlining, stylized, collagraph, printing plate

Background Information Art Deco (short for “art decorative”) motifs were applied to buildings, planes, trains, cars, jewelry, clothing, and household appliances in the early 1920s and 1930s. In Europe, the style was inspired by Cubism. In America, it was inspired by Mexican and South American Indian Art. Its streamlined designs, often based on geometric figures such as the rectangle and circle, affected advertising, automobiles, housing, sculpture, and painting. The Chrysler Building in New York City, shown in the figure titled “Art Deco Handout,” is an architectural example of the style.



Figure 6.8  Art Deco Handout. © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Preparation This is a two-part project, and the cardboard printing plate, Art Deco Design, is the first half of the project. Students will develop a design, which they complete by cutting out pieces of tag board and gluing the design together. The second part of this project, Shiny Skin, is far easier, but read it and try it so you can plan ahead. Find examples on the Internet of Art Deco design. This design could be used for the front cover of a handbound book, elevator doors, or stained-glass windows. The actual printing plate could be inked and printed on drawing paper (for matting and framing), or used on the fronts of note cards. For another use of your plate, see the project Shiny Skin, which follows this project. Students can cover the plate with a piece of aluminum foil, taking care to make it smooth on the front, then carefully taping it on the back of the plate. They then coat the front of the aluminum foil plate with black tempera and allow it to dry, and then use fine steel wool to polish the highlights. Process The tag board printing plate will be used for two purposes. Students will be making an Art Deco design that might be used for bronze elevator doors, entrance doors to a building, a carved medallion to go on the side of the building, or decorations for the back of a bench to go in front of the building. 1. Have students draw several small rectangles approximately 2” × 3” on newsprint. These rough sketches might combine geometric forms, curving lines, and patterns. When they are satisfied with a design, have them draw it to fit a 6” × 9” piece of tag board. Decorative motifs popular in the Art Deco period were stylized eagles, the sun, flowers, panthers, and dancers. See the handout titled “Art Deco Architecture.” 2. They can gradually build up a bas-relief (“low-relief”) design of strips, circles, and shapes cut from tag board. It is possible to have several layers. Suggest they try several combinations before actually gluing. Make sure each piece is thoroughly glued in place, then coat the design with polymer medium (or thinned white glue) to keep the ink from soaking in when the plate is printed. 3. When the tag board plate is completely dry, demonstrate how to add ink to the brayer and then cover the printing plate with ink. Show them how to center the plate ink-side down on a piece of paper, then turn the paper and plate over and rub on the back of the paper to transfer the image. You can make numerous prints from this plate. When finished printing, wipe excess ink from the plate. 4. When students have finished the prints, allow them to dry, then show them how to sign a print. The print can be displayed next to the foil-covered plate.



Figure 6.9  Art Deco Handout 2. © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Alternative Project

Paper-Strip Art Deco Provide black paper strips of ½” width or less. On white paper, students can arrange the strips, cutting them as needed, to make an Art Deco–style building. Remind them that they might also choose to include a motif of the type that was popular in the Art Deco days: eagle or dancers. Egyptian and Aztec motifs were also popular.

Curriculum Connection—social studies The 1930s and 1940s. This is an ideal lead-in to the study of changes in the world after the 1929 Depression and during the early 1940s. Modernism had arrived. Students can compare and contrast government, transportation, jobs, cities, entertainment, and art between that period and now. Aviation history. Another huge advance during this time was in aviation. Innovations in flight such as the Zeppelin airships (the Hindenburg disaster occurred in 1937), the history of the US Airmail service, early commercial passenger flights, and developments in fighter airplanes were also occurring during this time period. Students can learn about and draw airplanes or flight attendants’ clothing to illustrate their research.




Shiny Skin—Aluminum-Foil Bas Relief Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–2–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, shape, emphasis, texture

Materials–tag board (or old file folders), white glue, scissors, aluminum foil, masking tape, India ink or tempera (black or white), fine steel wool

Vocabulary–skyscraper, blimp, Art Deco, miter, burnish

Background Information This project follows the collagraph-print project titled “Art Deco Building Design,” using the same plate that was used for the print. A famous building of the Art Deco period was the Chrysler Building, 1928–1930, designed by William Van Alen. Its top was a series of rounded shapes in shiny steel, culminating in a spire. The top was designed to resemble a car’s hubcap, and it was considered a perfect example of modern design. It was built about the same time as the Empire State Building (1932). The Empire State Building was so modern that a dirigible (blimp) anchoring location was incorporated into it (high winds made landing impossible though). It may be familiar to the students as the building that King Kong climbed. Rockefeller Center (1931–1939) was another famous Art Deco complex. Preparation After students have printed the Art Deco collagraph, they could wipe the ink off the tag board plate and cover it with aluminum foil, as described here. Cut pieces of aluminum foil large enough to cover the printing plates. Show students how to place the plate on the dull side of the foil, then fold the extra foil onto the back of the plate. Demonstrate how to make mitered corners by pulling the corners toward the middle, then folding the foil over the corners and taping the foil to the plate with masking tape. Process Sometimes when doing printmaking, it is possible to display the printing plate and the resulting print side by side. In this case, you will change the appearance of your plate by first covering it with aluminum foil, then coating it with paint and allowing it to dry before polishing it with fine steel wool.

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1. Cut a piece of aluminum foil several inches larger in all dimensions than the plate. Before folding the foil underneath, carefully smooth the dull side of the foil against the plate, pressing it into the indentations made by the several layers of tag board. 2. Demonstrate how to miter the aluminum corners by turning the plate over and folding the corner straight toward the middle on all four corners. Then, carefully fold the sides to the back of the cardboard, and tape the foil in place on the back. 3. Paint white or black tempera or ink on the front of the foil (it may be necessary to add a small amount of liquid detergent to tempera or ink to make it adhere to the shiny surface). Allow the surface to dry overnight. 4. Use fine steel wool to gently burnish the highlights.


Still Life Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–social studies, language arts

Materials–viewfinders (paper or slide mounts), drawing paper, white chalk, tissues, oil pastels, fluorescent markers, pencils

Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–emphasis, value, color, line, shape Vocabulary–still life, trompe l’oeil, intensity, artistic license, viewfinder, depth, ­overlapping, selective

Background Information The still life communicates information about the culture in which it was done. Dutch still life by such artists as Pieter Claesz-Heda had paintings filled with items such as a broken glass, a half-eaten loaf of bread, or a clock, all items that symbolized how swiftly life passes. William Harnett and John Peto were American painters who specialized in trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) still-life paintings. Contemporary American painters Audrey Flack and Janet Fish continue the tradition of realistic still life, and photographer Sandy Skoglund creates sculptural still life that she then photographs. Impressionists such as Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse specialized in interior paintings of flowers or a painting of the table set for a meal.


166 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Preparation Have students bring in discarded objects for a huge still life. This could include mechanical objects, a bicycle, toys, cloth, rope, a hat, a skull, rubberized face masks, ladders, a window frame, buckets, stools, and so on. The still life should be arranged once in the center of the room, then left untouched until the drawings are finished. If you prefer, you can make individual still life arrangements around the room for several students to use. Make a viewfinder (cut a rectangular opening in an 8” × 10” piece of paper or tag board in proportion to the paper that will be used. Tell students that looking through a viewfinder is similar to taking a photograph, isolating one subject with a single, well-composed view. Demonstrate to students that the viewfinder should always be held at the same distance from the eye when looking through it and show them how to place objects on their paper in the same location as they find them in their viewfinder. Process One of the most difficult things in creating artwork is thinking of what and how much to include in a picture. A grouping of objects of all kinds challenges you to be selective, painting only a small portion of the still life in front of you. 1. Show students how to hold their viewfinder arm at the same distance from the body each time they look through it. They then would use the viewfinder as if it were the viewfinder of a camera, isolating a particular section of what they see to make a pleasing composition. 2. They should notice where an object is in relation to the top, sides, or bottom of the viewfinder. Then, using chalk, draw it in exactly the same place on their drawing paper (they can use tissue to correct the chalk line if necessary). When they are satisfied that they have sufficient information from their chalk drawing to fill the paper, they are ready to begin applying oil pastels. 3. They don’t need to concern themselves with making realistic colors. In fact, this composition might be more interesting if they were to use only five colors, applying the color firmly, but also allowing some paper to show through the pastel. 4. When they have finished coloring with oil pastels, suggest that they apply contrasting fluorescent marker colors of hot pink, turquoise, or orange marker on top of the similarly colored oil pastels. The effect is similar to crayon resist with ink, but the brightly colored markers give an entirely different effect. 5. These compositions will look best if they are mounted behind a neutral mat such as gray, white, or black.

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Story Quilt Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–language arts, ­mathematics, science, social studies

Materials–pencils, 10” × 10” squares of white paper, fadeless paper or cotton cloth), fine-line black markers, scissors, thinned white glue

Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–variety, balance, emphasis Vocabulary–applique, quilt blocks, kente cloth, symbols

Background Information Applique and other old quilting techniques were brought to the United States by slaves from Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Angola, and were an influence on quilting in the American South. Harriet Powers (1837–1911) was a famous African American quilter who inspired other artists with her quilting style. Your students might like to know that some African American quilters purposely included a “mistake” in the quilt because they felt that only God could make something perfect. Contemporary artist Faith Ringgold continues in the tradition of the story quilt with her sewn and

Figure 6.10a  Pictorial Quilt, 1895–1898, Harriet Powers, 1837–1911, American, cotton plain weave, pieced, appliqued, embroidered, and quilted, 68 7/8” × 105”. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, bequest of Maxim Karolik, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



Figure 6.10b  Maya’s Quilt of Life, 1989, Faith Ringgold, 1930, American, acrylic on canvas and painted, dyed, and pieced fabrics, 73” × 73”. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Artists Rights Society New York. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

painted quilts. Her work is represented in many museum collections. A story quilt that inspired this project was done by third graders in Debbie McConnell’s art class at Barretts School in the Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. That quilt’s theme was based on Native American myths and done entirely with cotton fabric rather than construction paper, with the “embroidery” done with Sharpie marker. In this project, fadeless or white paper is best for the background and the cutouts. These quilt designs will be keepers, and we recommend you use fadeless colored paper instead of colored construction paper, because the construction paper quickly fades. A limited number of background block colors (three to five) would provide unity to the composition. Each student will do a block, which will be taken home after the display of all the blocks together in one large quilt. Preparation Involve students in deciding on a theme. Or students may prefer to tell a personal story. Possibilities are my favorite sports activity, my family, my home, my bicycle, or on the school bus. Precut 10” × 10” squares of cloth or paper. Process 1. Students need to think about themselves in this picture. They will be fairly big, and other objects and people may be smaller. In this Harriet Powers quilt, point out how simple and large the shapes of the people are, as compared to symbols or

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other forms. Show them how to lightly draw the cut-outs on the back of various scraps of fadeless paper. 2. Before they glue the pieces on the 10” × 10” square of paper or cloth, have them arrange the pieces and get your approval. If cloth is used, background pieces should be glued to the tag board first, to make handling easier. 3. After everything is glued in place, they will do “embroidery.” Because this is paper (or even if it is cloth), they won’t actually sew this. However, by carefully making short black lines (about 1/4” long) around the edge of each piece and onto the background, they can make it look like they sewed this piece onto its block. 4. To display, center each block on one 12” × 12” piece of colored paper (a single color for the background), placing them next to each other on a large wall. If you have too many squares for one quilt, make two quilts. A photograph of the classmounted-story-quilt could be taken and photocopied, so that each student would have a souvenir of this special artwork. Adaptations for Younger Students

Muslin Quilt Small squares (6” × 6”) of muslin could be decorated by each student using fabric markers, crayons, paints, or pastels. A photograph of the class-mounted-story-quilt could be taken and photocopied, so that each student would have a souvenir of this special artwork that all worked on. Curriculum Connections

Language Arts Write the story of your quilt block. After students have created their individual blocks, have them write a story about their scene. These may be quite detailed and could be compiled into a classroom book. When the “quilt” is displayed on the wall, have the students tell their stories to the class, or invite parents for a special evening. Math problems quilt. Depending on the ages of the children, each individual square could contain cut-out objects and a number stating how many objects there are. Because these designs will be relatively small, use plain background colors, allowing variety in the size and style of the objects and numbers. Computer-designed quilt block. This is a natural for working on the computer. Students should work on an 8” × 8” format. Each might make a 1” border around the edge for easy assembly on the wall. Depending on the ages of the students, they can work in geometric forms or free drawing, using patterns and colors as they like. Traditional geometric blocks (cut-out or computer generated). On 8” × 8” construction paper squares, have students assemble triangles and squares of various sizes to make a block. Four identical 8” squares glued together on 18” × 18” paper (leaving a 1” border all around) form yet another type of pattern.


170 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Science Creatures and their environments quilt blocks. Select an environment and have students research living creatures within that environment. A patch could show a creature and its surroundings, perhaps including a predator. Students could make several smaller “quilts” using such environments as the ocean, the African forest, a tropical rain forest, or an African veldt.

Social Studies Favorite food quilt. Sandra Nickeson’s students of the Guardian Angel Settlement (in St. Louis, Missouri) made a quilt in which each square had one item of food, such as pizza, an ice cream cone, a tomato, a green pepper, and so on. My state quilt block. Each student could select a location in your state (or city) that people come to visit. They could base their pictures on information from the state’s tourism bureau about the park, monument, building, harbor, or historic event. Cultural quilt blocks. An entire class quilt could be made that represents one particular culture such as Native American, Asian, Egyptian, Hawaiian, Inuit, Hispanic, Pennsylvania “Dutch,” or Scandinavian, using motifs that are unique to that civilization. For example, South American folk-art arpilleras are three-dimensional applique fabrics that tell a story of everyday life of the people of the Andes. Transportation quilt blocks. Research the evolution of transportation from ancient times. Each square could include something different, such as carts, trains, planes, automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, boats, submarines, helicopters, balloons, blimps, inline skates, skateboards, and so on.


A Walk in the Woods Grades–3–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–emphasis, line, color, variety Vocabulary–printmaking stamp; sense: vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch

Materials–12” × 18” heavy drawing paper, cardboard, or Masonite to place under paper, new sharpened #2 pencils, PrintFoam cut into 2” × 2” plates, varicolored fresh watercolor markers (students can share), colored pencil

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Figure 6.11  A Walk in the Woods, watercolor marker and colored pencil on paper, 12”x 18”.

Background Information This lesson was inspired by a teacher workshop offered by Dr. Louis Lankford, Professor of Art Education at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Take a stroll in a nearby nature preserve or even on your playground. Challenge students to use most of their senses. Check with your state’s Conservation Department, as they may provide colorful maps, illustrations of animal prints, birds, and trees and leaves that are native to your region. Preparation Discuss behaviors that you expect during the outdoor walk. Whether you take the students on a bus to an actual nature preserve, or stay on school grounds, expected behavior out of the building must be discussed. For a field trip off school grounds, be sure to have at least one other adult with you. Check with administration for any necessary paperwork or the number of adults required. Prepare for students to make stamps when they return to class by cutting the PrintFoam into 2” × 2” square blocks. Practice making your own stamp first. Watercolor marker makes a good printing ink when it is freshly applied to the “plate” before stamping.



Before the Walk in the Woods Tell students that they are going to make a map of their walk in the woods for others to follow. This walk in the woods challenges students to use three of their five senses: sight, smell, and sound. This definitely is not a place where taste is appropriate, and touch needs to be done using good sense, such as feeling the bark on a tree. They will use pencil to draw both sides of a pathway they have used. Request students to remain close enough together on the walk so they can hear you. Make several stops for them to catch up on writing or sketching. About the Walk in the Woods •• Vision. Allow them to pause and draw something—such as a wildflower, fallen log, or bird’s nest—using only pencil. When they return to the art room, they may use colored pencil to improve their drawing. When writing about colors, these should not be just one word such as “green,” but used with a description such as “forest green (dark),” “lime green,” “yellow green,” or “blue green.” •• Hearing. Challenge students to stand still for a minute, making a list on the drawing paper of the sounds they hear (a bird chirping, a lawnmower in the distance, trucks on a highway, chain saws, or leaves rustling). •• Smell. Students should describe three smells they detect. After the Walk in the Woods—Back in the Classroom 1. Give the students a day to improve their pencil-drawn maps with colored pencil. Distribute small squares of PrintFoam printing plates that you have pre-cut into approximately 2” × 2” small squares or rectangles, on which students can use pencil to draw something that might have been in the woods. 2. Before making their design on the PrintFoam square, have students draw a number of designs on copy paper of something they might have seen in the woods. Tell them that the design should go from edge to edge on the stamp, and that any indentation they make with the pencil will remain white when the watercolor marker is applied. Student designs might be leaf patterns, the footprint of a wild animal, a section of tree bark, a small lizard, a butterfly, a mushroom, or a turtle. 3. When each person has completed a PrintFoam stamp, suggest that they use a watercolor marker to add one or two colors before stamping it onto his or her own map. They might choose to have stamps placed only in a border around the edges of their map, or others might like to see random stamps. 4. After they have made and used a stamp, they may visit at least some of the people in the class and offer to re-ink their stamp with watercolor marker and add the stamp to that person’s map. 5. Ask students to write a paragraph about one thing they especially remember that happened on their trip into the wild.

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Alternative Project Before beginning the walk in the woods, present each student with a simple, lettersized map of the path they will follow. During the walk, the teacher or guide will periodically stop and ask students to indicate where they are on the map and to jot down sounds they hear and aromas they smell at this particular spot, as well as to make a quick sketch of something they see nearby. Stop three to five times during the walk, repeating the procedure each time. When students return to the classroom, they can draw a much larger version of the map and provide drawings representing what they heard, smelled, and saw at specific locations on the map.



Multicultural Art

Traditional and Non-Traditional Techniques Artists in some cultures continue to create art in much the same manner as their ancestors did. Techniques are passed down through families, with the young ones learning from their elders, resulting in stylized designs that sometimes seem strange to today’s students. Other artists in that same culture might disregard their cultural history altogether or adapt it to fit within their art by using traditional colors or symbols. Many of the techniques presented in this chapter continue unchanged from early days and introduce students to the history of that culture. Worldwide travel and population changes in the United States often allow students to claim ancestors from several cultures. A multicultural project might be part of an ongoing unit of study within the regular classroom, or an art theme that explores contributions of, for example, Native Americans throughout the North American continent. As teachers, we must be aware that selecting projects based on a different culture can be meaningful to students only if the time is taken to introduce something about the people who live the culture and are familiar with its history. Approximately 80% of what we consider artwork today was produced for religious purposes. This may explain why it was kept intact (or deliberately destroyed by people with a different viewpoint). Much of what is produced and sold today is traditional artwork produced for tourists who hope to take home a memory of their visit.



Aboriginal Art


Aboriginal “Dreamings” Grades–2–4 Curriculum connections–language arts, social studies Time needed–3–4 class periods

Materials–9” × 12” construction paper (brown, dark yellow, black, or reddish-brown), chalk, acrylic or tempera paint (brown, yellow, white, reddish brown, black), brushes, pencils

Elements and principles of art–line, color, pattern, variety Vocabulary–aborigine, symbols, walkabout, dot painting, dreamtime, X-ray paintings

Figure 7.1a  Wild Banana, 1995. J. Paige, purchased at a gallery in Alice Springs, Australia. This image represents two women seated on opposite sides of a bush plum where they dig for witchetty grubs to eat. The seated women (horseshoe shapes) have digging sticks and bowls beside them. Collection of Susan Hume and John Baker.

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seated males

seated females



animal tracks kangaroo tracks


emu tracks

hunter crocodile dancers

possum tracks


TOOLS AND WEAPONS boomerang spear


spear thrower digger

NATURE coolamong (bowl)


water hole


digging stick club star


FOOD lizard

witchetty grub


running water between two campsites

fish smoke


bush plum tortoise

yams eggs


Rainbow serpent

Birds and Insects honey ants


witchetty grubs sea eagle Wandjina Figures



Lightning Brochers


178 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information The paintings of the Aboriginal people of Australia represent day-to-day actions such as hunting and preparing food or sitting around the fireside with friends. Many of their traditional paintings represent the “dreamtime,” the time before man came, when the Earth was inhabited by ancestral beings that were part human but resembled plants and animals. Sometimes in Aboriginal drawings an actual animal is shown, but in paintings by Aborigines from the desert regions, only the movement of these animals is represented through symbols, lines, and dots. The paintings traditionally are painted in earth colors such as brown, gold, white, red, and black. Contemporary Aboriginal painters often use acrylic paint, sometimes in soft, warmer colors. They continue to represent the creatures and things of nature such as humans, snakes, flowers, shrubbery, water, rocks, and trees. Almost everything is painted as if seen from above, and every painting tells a story, though it may be known only to the artist because many of the symbols have several meanings. Australia is a large country, and just as American Indians from different parts of the United States developed different art forms depending on the materials available, these differences have also occurred in various Aboriginal groups. The Western Coast Aborigines, for example, rely more on geometric designs and straight lines. Preparation Go online and find examples of the various types of Aboriginal paintings. Post these around the room or project them onto a whiteboard. It might be effective to find a recording of the haunting digeridoo music (and a picture of someone playing one) from Australia to play during a slideshow. Distribute the “Aboriginal Symbol” handout for students to see some of the “shorthand” drawings that were used to symbolize people and tools. Process An Aboriginal “dreaming” is a painted story. It might include things from nature such as bushes, trees and flowers, stars, constellations, the Milky Way, animals, birds, waterfowl, centipedes, snakes, fish, witchetty grubs, beetles, lizards, kangaroos, wallabies, and koala bears. It will probably only include a few of these, as your story would not likely involve them all at once. Because the Australian Aboriginals usually paint things seen from above, or sometimes only the tracks left by creatures, they used symbols that might mean one of several different things. You are going to paint a “dreaming” based on animals and places. 1. Suggest students select a paper with a light color such as tan, gold, or yellow as the background. Have them close their eyes and think for a moment about a dreamtime (people were just arriving on earth and trying to explain things they

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didn’t understand). Students should imagine themselves as a bird mostly looking straight down, seeing things from a “bird’s-eye view,” because this was the painting style that Aboriginal ancestors used. 2. Show them how to use a finger to trace the imaginary journey on the paper. They should think about where they stopped to rest. Was a friend with them? Did they encounter any animals in their travels? What about trees and bushes? Where did they see water? After they have made the journey with a finger, demonstrate how to use a piece of chalk to make a very light line as a guide for applying paint. 3. Create a pattern by making dots on one of your chalk lines in one color. Dip a pencil eraser or the wooden end of a brush in color to stamp the dots. Select another color and place the dots next to the first line. Leave some areas unpainted and fill in a few areas with solid colors outlined with dots. Use enough variety in color and value to make it a beautiful design. 4. Some of the Aboriginal people display their paintings by tying the paintings to sticks with pieces of string at the top and bottom of the composition. This would be a nice way to finish and display the dreamings.

Figure 7.1b  Bone Coffins, eucalyptus wood painted with natural clays, Northern Territory, Central Arnhem Land Region, Ramingining, Australia, St. Louis Art Museum.

Alternative Project

Bark Painting Cured, flattened sheets of eucalyptus tree bark are used as “paper” by some Aboriginal artists. The painting is done with red and yellow, white clay, and black manganese or charcoal. You can have students substitute kraft paper for eucalyptus bark, using


180 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS tempera as a base, and a marking pen for the designs. Students can wet their kraft paper (or opened-up brown grocery bags) at the sink, then wad it up in a fist to squeeze out extra water. Then paint watery dark brown tempera across the whole surface and let dry. This can give a very effective bark appearance. These drawings are highly decorative, with stripes, dots, diamonds, cross-hatching, and patterns used to decorate thin “supernatural” dancing figures and animals. “X-ray paintings” show the bone structure of animals and humans. Find reproductions of Aboriginal art on the Internet so students can see examples of this unique art.

Curriculum Connection Language arts. Write a walkabout. Students can write a description of a walk in their own yards or neighborhoods. Ask them to describe in detail the things they see: the colors of trees, animals, sounds, and smells. They may prefer to base this on a visit to a nearby park, or someplace they have gone on vacation. Explain that you want them to write very detailed accounts of what they have encountered on their “walkabout.”

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Asian Cultures


Japanese Sumi-E—Seven Shades of Black Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–language arts, social studies Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–value, form, space, variety, balance, line

Materials–newspaper, rice paper, 9” × 18” or 18” × 24” paper, sumi ink, small disposable plates, water containers (two per station), paper towels, brushes, art-gum erasers, 1½”–2” nails, red ink pad (or red paint on a sponge), fine-line black markers (optional), roll of wallpaper or wrapping paper, glue sticks, dowels

Vocabulary–haiku, tokonoma, Far Eastern

Background Information A Japanese painter once said that there are seven shades of black in a painting. Sumi-e (soo-me-eh) paintings (literally “pictures with ink”) follow specific methods with simple designs and quite a bit of open space. The reverence for nature and its beauty is explored to its fullest. Japanese sumi-e paintings are sometimes done in horizontal scroll form, as in Chinese art, or are sometimes vertical, glued to silk backgrounds, or presented on six-fold screens. Gold paper is occasionally used as a background rather than rice paper. Students can compare and contrast landscape paintings done in the Far Eastern cultures with those done in Western cultures. Help students notice differences in color, space, value, subject matter, and so on. Discuss the value that ancient Asian societies placed on the written word, poetry, and the beauty of nature. Preparation Find typical Asian painting reproductions in books and on the Internet and discuss the respect given to the poet–painter in Asian society. Demonstrate the use of ink and an ink stone, seals, brushes, rice paper, and scrolls. Explain the special niche in Japanese homes (the tokonoma) for the display of a beautiful scroll and perhaps a simple flower arrangement. Ink may be purchased in liquid form for use in the classroom. Watercolor and watercolor brushes are effective substitutes for traditional Japanese pigments and bamboo brushes. Demonstrate dipping the brush in water, squeezing it slightly to form a point before dipping it in ink. Most strokes are made by first touching the



Figure 7.2  Old Raccoon Dog in a Dense Grove of Bamboo, 1912, Konoshima Okoku, 1877–1938, Japanese, ink on silk hanging scroll, 56¼” × 20 1/16”, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver M. Langenberg, Saint Louis Art Museum.

brush point to the paper, then applying pressure to make the line thicker, then lifting or turning the brush before lifting it from the paper. The resulting line goes from thin-to-thick-to-thin. The “Traditional Asian Brushstroke” handout shows students how to hold the brush, and some examples of how thick or thin a line may be simply by controlling the pressure. Process Nature is a favorite subject in Japanese painting. In contrast to most Western painting, the beauty of a single flower that fills the page or a weathered tree on a rock is considered enough to fill a painting. 1. Demonstrate the standard hand position for line drawing: hold the brush upright on the handle a few inches up from the tip, with the thumb and forefinger in front and the middle finger behind (as in holding a pencil). Hold the brush vertically, using the tip for drawing lines. For a wash, add water and hold the brush at an angle. Show students how they can experiment by making seven different values with ink (you make it lighter or darker by how much water is used in the brush). To allow freedom of movement, suggest they keep the arm off the table. 2. Invite students to practice on a separate piece of paper: making lines, circles, and curved marks in a graduated wash (dark on one side and light on another) with the brush. These should be made in one stroke, without overlapping. The brush

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is cleaned in water, then the tip dipped in ink for a graduated wash. Show how they can make differences in lines by how hard they press on a brush or by using only the tip. 3. Demonstrate using the brush to make a few of the following objects listed here: rocks, willow trees, a branch with leaves, mountains, pine trees. While painting a tree, paint it the way the tree grows: first the trunk, then larger branches, smaller branches, twigs, and leaves. 4. Students may choose to draw one or more animals that are perfect subjects for sumi-e, such as cats, monkeys, raccoons, tigers, birds, butterflies, roosters, and fish. If they choose to paint animals, they need to consider whether the animals are the solitary kind (such as a cat) or those that are normally found in groups, such as monkeys or chickens. The animals are usually done with a combination of wash and line, and often a hint of their habitat is included. 5. After the paintings are dry, soft watercolors may be added on top of the ink drawings. 6. The paintings may be displayed as vertical “scrolls” by mountAn old silent pond. . . ing on wrapping paper or wallA frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence paper (that contains a small again. pattern). The background paper – Matsuo Bash ˉo can be folded at the top and bottom, leaving enough open on the sides to insert a dowel or stick for hanging.

Curriculum Connections—Language Arts Haiku poetry. Haiku poetry dates back to the ninth century. It should be written rather small, near the upper edge of the picture. It has only three lines—the first and last lines are only five syllables long while the second is seven syllables (i.e., 5–7–5).

















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The Three Perfections Calligraphy, Poetry, and Painting Grades–4–6 Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–value, line, shape Vocabulary–perfection, strokes, characters, seal, calligraphy, domination

Materials–newspaper, rice paper, 9” × 12” or 18” × 24” drawing or watercolor paper, drawing ink, foam plates, water containers (two per station), paper towels, brushes, wallpaper, glue sticks, dowels, art-gum erasers, 1½”–2” nails, red ink pad (or red paint on a sponge), fine-line black markers

Figure 7.3a  Composing Poetry on a Spring Outing (detail 2), c. 1189–1225 (­attributed to) Ma Yuan, 1160–1225, Chinese, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Background Information In China, all civil servants were trained as scholars, and among their accomplishments were what they called the three perfections: calligraphy, poetry, and painting. Poet–painter societies sometimes went out to the country for the day to paint, write poetry, and admire each other’s work. Owners of scrolls displayed their work to others. The viewer of an artwork might actually write a poem directly on some else’s scroll, and then stamp his own personal seal in red directly under the poem. Writing was done vertically (the vertical columns were possibly begun because ancient Chinese artists wrote on flattened vertical sections of bamboo).


186 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Horizontal scrolls, when unrolled, were sometimes 18’ long. To avoid damaging the delicate paintings, small sections were unrolled at a time, Paintings were also done on vertical rectangles to be hung after they were mounted on paper-backed silk. The four treasures—brushes, ink sticks, ink stones, and paper—were used in these scholarly pastimes.

Figure 7.3b  The Four Treasures, brushes, ink sticks, ink stones, and paper. These tools are similar to those used by Asian scholars and painters. Clockwise from right: ink and inkstone, brushes, box for inkstone, cinnabar paste and individual alabaster seal (square form), bamboo pens and Chinese brushes, satin-lined gift box on top contains everything except the paper.

Subject matter varied, but favorites were landscapes such as mountains, a waterfall, farmland, lakes, trees, or streams. In such paintings, people were shown as quite small. Other favorite themes included children playing, portraiture, cats, tigers, monkeys, fish, bamboo, and flowers. Preparation Show students the “look” of Far Eastern painting from Internet images or reproductions in a book. Have them observe the differences between Far Eastern and Western paintings. Point out how portraits seldom have a background, and how simplified most paintings are. Subject matter (often of nature) is frequently symbolic. Certain trees, flowers, birds, and bamboo represent different ideas or “seasons” of life. For example, cranes and pine trees used in the same artwork represent old age. The placement of the subject, Chinese character writing, and a red seal (sometimes called a “chop” by Westerners) were all important to the composition.

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There are 40,000 characters in the Chinese alphabet, which was invented circa 2000 BC. If you are fortunate, you may have a resource (a parent or a book) from which you could write a few Chinese characters for students to copy. The Internet has many resources; try searching for “Chinese sayings” or “Chinese characters.” Because of the popularity and ease of using markers, ink is primarily used today for calligraphy. It is better to dispense small amounts of ink yourself, as needed, onto a disposable foam plate. Tell the students to pretend they are Asian painter–poets, and they are going to go out into the country with friends and to have an artistic afternoon. They will paint either what they see or from their imaginations. They may even write a poem about their work, or about the work of friends. Process 1. Ask students to sit upright, facing forward with both feet flat on the floor, as Chinese scholars do. Show them how to hold the brush straight up and down in order to be able to use the tip of it. Demonstrate dipping the brush in water and using fingers to wipe off excess water into the container and make a point on the brush. To have a “wash,” leave more water on the brush. Remind them to keep the painting simple, making a single stroke and not going over an area often. 2. On a practice sheet of paper, show the students how to make different values (shades) of wash-and-line drawings. Apply a light wash, then draw into it with the tip of the brush and undiluted ink (wet-on-wet). Try dry-brushing the ink. Wipe the brush with a paper towel from time to time. If you have Chinese alphabet characters that they may copy, demonstrate calligraphy with the tip of the brush. 3. Before beginning the painting, students should decide on a subject, making a very light drawing in pencil. In Chinese landscapes, people often are tiny, and the scene is dominated by mountains, water, and trees. In portraits, which are done vertically, the figure fills the page, with almost nothing in the background. An animal might be portrayed large, with something such as a branch to fill a corner, but Chinese artwork leaves quite a bit of open space. 4. Students can each make a personalized Chinese “seal” on an art-gum eraser, using a nail to make a design, or on a square formed from modeling clay (use a toothpick). This seal can be inked from a red stamp pad or a folded paper towel on which a small amount of red tempera has been poured. It could be their initials drawn backward. When they have finished the painting, use the tip of the brush (or a fine-line black marker) to make their name on the upper-right corner, printing vertically. Below your name, use the seal and carefully impress it one time (the seal is usually in red). 5. If you wish to share your painting with a fellow artist, have that person stamp his or her personal seal and also write his or her own initials or poem vertically (and small). The writing is always done only at the edges or corners, and some ancient paintings might have up to 15–20 “poems” and seals added by ­appreciative friends.



Chinese Fable Tell students a Chinese fable and have them illustrate it on a 4” × 6” piece of paper. Even young children do delightful watercolor paintings and can be taught to do one or two simple Chinese characters. Mount these small works of art together on a long piece of appropriate wallpaper to form a vertical scroll. For the seal, have them paint their initials inside a 1” square with red paint.

American Indian Art Native American peoples across the United States, Canada, and Alaska were similar to indigenous people in other parts of the world. Their arts and crafts traditions grew out of necessities for daily living, such as woven baskets for gathering and storing grain, clay pots for cooking and storage, and clothing made from wild animal skins. These necessities became more beautiful as creative homemakers adorned leather goods with dyed and flattened porcupine quills, and, ultimately, trade beads. The artists who wove wool dresses and wearing blankets became more creative with their beautiful designs and colors. Artisans who made jewelry with stones such as turquoise and carnelian became ever more skilled, passing down their knowledge to younger members of their families. Crafts varied among regional groups depending on their living conditions, traditions, and access to raw materials. These goods were traded among various Native American peoples, with, for example, Navajo Wearing Blankets becoming status symbols among chieftains of other groups. As train travel brought tourists across the country to remote locations, and as tourists admired and bought Indian artwork, this became a source of income.


Piasa Bird (Thunderbird) Grades–3–5 Curriculum connection—social studies Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–emphasis, color, line Vocabulary–indigenous, decorative, pictograph, petroglyph, symbol, fantasy, stylized, bluff, stylized

Materials–12” ×18” drawing paper, pencil, markers or colored pencil; black paper could be used with oil pastels

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Figure 7.4  Piasa Bird (pronounced pie-a-saw). Photo taken of the image painted on bluffs in Alton, Illinois. This was first seen by white explorer Father Jacques ­Marquette in 1673. Legend has it that its original was painted downstream 1½ miles about AD1200. This newer version is restored from time to time.

Background Information On a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois, first seen by explorers in 1673, there was for many years an American Indian painting of a mythical bird, the Piasa (pronounced pie-a-saw). Although the original painting eventually wore away, a reproduction is painted in the same place. In other places, one sees drawings of thunderbirds, which were also mythical birds in the American Indian culture. Because nature is so much a part of the life of American Indians, artists in their culture often use animal symbols to decorate pots, create pictographs (drawings), or make petroglyphs (etchings on rock). Since no one has seen a thunderbird, it might have a very long tail (as the Piasa does), horns, and powerful claws. Preparation Discuss the fact that the designs that outsiders might see as purely decorative on American Indian artwork are meaningful symbols to Native artists. Some of these would be mountains, warriors, sun, arrows, rain, serpents, or feathers. Talk about mythical or extinct birds such as the thunderbird or the Piasa, as well as existing birds such as the eagle or parrot. Designs found on American Indian pottery can be used as inspiration for student designs. If you choose to use oil pastels on black paper, mottled soft pastels can be used in the background and blended with tissues. Distribute copies of Native American Bird and Animal Symbols for students to understand how some of these symbols are exaggerated or imaginary.


190 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Process 1. Have students make thumbnail sketches of bird outlines. These outlines can represent real or imaginary birds. When they have selected their best bird drawing, ask them to draw a larger outline of it on drawing paper. 2. Suggest they lightly draw straight or curved pencil lines to make divisions within the body of the bird such as the wings, tailfeathers, or a line at the neck or legs. These lines will be helpful when they are making designs. 3. Colors typically used in Indian designs are tones of dark red, reddish brown, black, turquoise, and yellow. Designs could be checkerboard, stair-step, or zigzag. Some areas may be plain colors, and others may have designs or patterns, or no color at all, allowing the plain paper to show through. 4. These stylized birds may have more than the usual number of feathers on their tails, a brightly colored head, or wings that have designs on the feathers. 5. If the students feel that there is too much blank space around the bird, they may blend soft pastels around the bird, or make a border all the way around the outside of the picture by combining some of the patterns. Another option is to draw a background such as a rock surface or place the bird on a limb or nest. Curriculum Connection—Social Studies

Petroglyph Comparisons Students can compare and contrast designs from pottery or petroglyphs of other indigenous cultures with those done by American Indians. For example, how did Australian Aboriginal people depict a snake? A bird? An insect?

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Copyright © 2008 by John wiley & Sons, Inc.


Turtle Snake Fish Turtle


Plumed Serpent


Puma God


Lion Goat






Pueblo Roof Lines Grades–3–8 Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–value, color, shape

Materials–9” × 12” drawing paper, 3” × 12” drawing paper strips for stencils, pastels in “Southwestern” colors, tissues, scissors

Vocabulary–adobe, pueblo, horno (outdoor oven for baking), viga (wood log rafters in Southwestern adobe homes)

Figure 7.5  Taos Pueblo, 1929–1934, Georgia O’Keeffe 1887–1986, American, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Background Information Discuss regional architecture, and how climate and available building materials often determine how people live. Some early Southwestern dwellings were built of stone into the sides of mountains, protected from rain and snow under an overhang. Others had cave-like homes. Nomadic groups needed temporary shelters that could be easily put up, taken down, and moved. The tipi (teepee) answered those needs. It was made of animal skins, supported by long poles. When it was necessary to move, the tipi was folded and placed between the long poles, and horses could pull them along during the move. Other American Indian peoples chose to build on high hills, and some in the middle of fertile valleys. The location and available materials determined the style of the dwelling.

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Another favorite building material in the Southwestern United States was adobe (sun-dried earth-and-straw bricks, “plastered” on the outside with earth). One such ancient, thriving pueblo community is Taos, New Mexico (occupied for over a thousand years). Box-like buildings were joined together, sometimes one next to another or sometimes one atop another. Each story was set back somewhat so they look like stair-steps. Second and third floors are sometimes reached by the ladders that lean up against the building. Traditional pueblo crafts—such as carving, pottery, and weaving—continue to be practiced, and passed from generation to generation. Preparation This project is based on the similarity of pueblos. Each student will make a 2”-wide strip of construction paper, flat on the bottom, and cut at the top to resemble the rooftops of adobe buildings of the American Southwest. Students may use their own strip repeatedly as they refresh it with more pastels. Or they may choose to trade with a neighboring student whose stencil has something different from their own. Pastel colors that are best to use are the earth colors of tan, brown, reddish brown, pink, and deep yellow. Process 1. Demonstrate for students how to solidly apply one soft pastel color to the patterned (top) edge of the stencil. Place the stencil near the upper third of a large piece of paper. Show them how to use a tissue to lightly pull the pastel upward from the edge of the stencil onto the drawing paper. 2. Have them apply a different pastel color to the same stencil and move the stencil slightly lower on the paper. For a third “story” of pueblos, they can cut a new stencil as the ground floor (or trade stencils with a classmate). 3. The ovens (hornos) used for baking bread outdoors were rounded beehive shapes and may be drawn in front of the buildings. Students should then draw windows, doors, vigas (tiny round circles), ladders between floors, and people. Vigas support the roof and are painted brown. Only the ends are shown. The traditional colors for trim are dark brown, turquoise, or yellow. Most of the doors are turquoise or green. Alternative Project

Pueblo Box Villages This project, made by American Indian schoolchildren, was seen on the Acoma trading post in New Mexico. Boxes of all sizes and shapes (most approximately shoebox size) were wrapped with light brown kraft paper. Details such as windows and doors were drawn or glued on. The boxes were then stacked and joined together to construct a “pueblo.” A different version of their pueblo was a group of smaller boxes (approximately 3” × 4”) constructed of brown cardboard. Stepladders were made from twigs and twine.



Mexico and Central America Both of these areas are known for their many contributions to the art world. The Huichol peoples live in Mexico and have a long history of making beads, embroidered pieces, and, especially, yarn paintings. Guerrero, also in Mexico, is known for bark paintings, in which bark is actually stripped from trees and made into a pulp. Paintings are finished in bright colors. Decorative tinware is another Mexican art that involves embossing sheets of tin, then forming it into stars and animals, often used as Christmas tree ornaments. The Mayan Indians from Guatemala in Central America are known for their vibrant, colorful textiles. Weavings range from belts to bags, jackets, and even large rugs done on floor looms. Many of our neighbors from Mexico and Central America have immigrated to the United States and continue to keep intact some of their traditions, such as festivals and holiday celebrations. Art is an important part of these special festivities.


Day of the Dead Altar Grades–4–8 Curriculum connections–social studies, language arts

Materials–colored tissue paper, strings, scissors, glue stick, hole punch, copper-colored tooling foil, photos, shoeboxes

Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, texture, variety Vocabulary–Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), papel picado (hand-cut tissue paper “flags”), nichos (decorated memory display boxes), pan de muerto (bread of the dead), calaveras (sugar candy skulls), offrendas (altars), score (use the tips of scissors and a ruler to “mark” a line that makes cardboard fold more easily)

Background Information This project is based on a special observation in Mexico and the Southwestern United States on November 1 (All Saints Day) and November 2 (All Souls Day). Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is not like Halloween, with its witches and goblins, as celebrated in the United States. In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking regions, it is considered a day to honor the dead (ancestors) by going to a cemetery to decorate graves or erect an altar (offrenda) to the memory of ancestors. Food and something to drink may be placed on the altar. Similar celebrations also occur in Brazil, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and some

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Asian and African countries. In Mexico, although this is done with reverence, it is also an acceptance that death is part of life, and pokes fun at death with many toylike decorations that feature skeletons. La Katrina, an elegantly dressed female skeleton, is often seen on display. Many immigrants no longer have the opportunity to visit the cemeteries in their homeland, but celebrate with friends, and sometimes make an altar in their new country to commemorate the day.

Figure 7.6a  La Katrina, ceramic, 14” × 5”. This image of a well-dressed skeleton is very popular in Mexico, and symbolic of the “lightheartedness” with which ­Mexicans celebrate La Dia de los Muertos. Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Kunz.

Preparation The offrenda can be as simple as a cardboard box or a folding table covered with a cloth. Things that might traditionally go on this special offrenda altar are flowers (marigolds are traditional in Mexico), favorite foods, and a drink. Also often featured are calaveras (sugar candy skulls), decorated candles in glass containers, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), toys made with skeleton images, papel picado (hand-cut tissue paper “flags”), photos of deceased relatives, handmade paper flowers, painted “tin” ornaments (heavy tooling foil and permanent marker), and nichos (small “memory” boxes with pictures). Collect shoeboxes in advance!


196 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Process Here are directions for a number of different items that students could make for a Day of the Dead altar. Papel Picado These small paper flags that hang above or on the front of an altar are traditionally made of tissue paper and used for various other celebrations. Lacy designs include geometric shapes, birds, flowers, angels, and many others. Students should use pencil to make a pattern (approximately 8” × 10”) on copy paper folded in half, making sure that positive shapes connect to each other to hold the paper together. Pencil in or number areas that will be cut away. To insert scissors easily into an interior, a hole punch can be used first in that area. When finished, they should fold the tissue ½” at the top and wrap over a piece of string (using glue stick to hold the edge down). Nichos (Memory Boxes) Nichos are often made in a small wooden box with hinged doors and shelves (about the size of doll furniture from a hobby section). Students can make a vertical nicho from a shoebox. On the bottom of the box, draw a vertical line down the middle. Measure 2” from the opening of the box’s bottom all the way around the outside and draw a line with a ruler. Start at one corner and cut toward the line. On the two short edges (top and bottom), cut off the cardboard along the line. On the two long edges, fold the cardboard back from the middle to make two “open doors.” The inside of the box lid will now be the back wall of the nicho and may be decorated with photos (if these are family photos, they should be photocopies), magazine pictures of favorite things, and flowers. If a shelf is needed, cardboard may be glued onto the inside walls on three sides. Decorated Skulls Although the ancient Aztecs and Meso-Americans kept actual skulls to symbolize death and rebirth, modern cultures still decorate with sugar skulls or skull toys. It is more practical to make the sugar skulls of paper or white Styrofoam (like butcher’s trays, which can be cut with scissors). The sugar skulls are decorated around the edges with colored icing, and a person’s name is written on the forehead. The Styrofoam skulls could be decorated with marker and glitter. Crepe Paper Flowers Brightly colored large paper flowers are fun to make.

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1. Flower number one. Demonstrate how to draw circles around lids of various sizes on crepe paper. Put three layers of paper together and cut daisy shapes from the outside toward the center, leaving at least a 1” circle in the middle. Punch a hole in the center and insert a wire. Push it up from underneath and use florists’ tape to hold the petals onto the stem. Make a ball of yellow tissue and glue it to the center to cover the wire. 2. Flower number two. Cut two rectangular lengths of paper approximately 6” × 12” in size. Demonstrate how to put one on top of another and make an accordion-fold lengthwise, with each fold approximately 1”–1½”. Wrap a length of wire tightly around the center. Open the paper (pull apart the two layers on each side of the wire). Push these upward and secure to the wire underneath with floral tape. Curriculum Connection—Social Studies and Language Arts Day of the Dead research and report. This could be an all-class oral report, or each individual could be asked to write a Day of the Dead report. Ask each student to come up with several facts about Day of the Dead from Internet research done at home or school. They need to write down several facts, in case someone else chooses their “fact.” New information may be displayed along with the altar or memory boxes they create.

Figure 7.6b  Day of the Dead Table of Remembrance, c. 2008, was dedicated to people who had passed away. It was created by the classes of art teacher Maggie Peeno at the Meramec Elementary School, Clayton School District, St. Louis, Missouri. It included typical Mexican yarn “God’s Eyes,” papel picado (across top), clay guardian figures, and “marigolds.”




Paper-Cuts Around the World Grades–4–8 Curriculum connections–language arts, social studies

Materials–colored fadeless paper, white drawing paper, black construction paper, glue sticks or polymer medium, scissors, paper punches

Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, balance, variety, shape Vocabulary–sheep-shearing scissors, folk art, profile, miniature, silhouette, radial symmetry

Paper-Cutting—Background Information Paper-cutting is a popular folk-art tradition that has existed throughout the world ever since paper was invented in China in AD 105. Paper was so rare after it was first invented that paper-cuts were made only by ladies of the Chinese court. It was many centuries before the tradition became more widely used and was seen as a special accomplishment of young women. Because the material is delicate, old examples of paper-cutting rarely endure, and are treasured.

Figure 7.7a  Monkeys on a Camel’s Back, c. 1990, by Madame Li Xiufang. Here is another example of how an artist interprets the world around her. Private collection.

Preparation Ideally, you would correlate a paper-cutting method with the culture the students are studying at the time. Information and photos for many different cutting methods are easily obtainable on the Internet by typing in the name of a technique in any

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search engine. Readily available, inexpensive material and traditional methods are passed along from generation to generation. Here are brief instructions for making several different types of paper-cuts. Students should always draw a design first. To make internal cuts, suggest they use a paper punch to first make a hole. The cut paper may be glued onto a white background. Process France: silhouettes. Cut-out miniature silhouette profiles of people are usually made from black paper. These were very special memories of loved ones, as the camera had not yet been invented. Students can create life-size silhouettes of each other by posing such that the profile is outlined onto a wall-mounted piece of black or white paper by shining a bright light source (such as a lamp) behind the posing student. Have them trace around the silhouette with chalk, then cut it out with scissors. Suggest to them that the silhouettes are more interesting if they draw and cut the hair as carefully as they can, even hair that is curly or sticking straight out. If they choose to draw and cut it out of white paper, they could later hand-paint it with watercolor, as was occasionally done in England and the colonial United States. Have them mount the carefully cut-out silhouette on contrasting paper. Germany and Switzerland: scherenschnitte (pronounced share-en-schnit-teh). These paper-cuttings were almost always symmetrical. Have students fold a piece of paper in half and draw the design on half of the paper (an example would be a tree that is larger at the bottom, getting smaller toward the top. You could have an animal or bird on each branch.) Demonstrate how to make a starter hole for scissors by using a paper punch.

Figure 7.7b  Wycinanki (pronounced Vee-chee-non-kee), artist unknown, ­Lowicz. These delicate, brilliantly colored paper cuttings are traditionally done using sheep shears. They usually feature flowers and birds. Polish Art Center, ­Hamtramck, Michigan.


200 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Poland: Wycinanki (pronounced vee-chee-non-kee). These Polish paper-cuts are usually symmetrical designs in layers, often of roosters and flowers. The paper-cuts were traditionally cut with sheep-shearing scissors on brightly colored shiny paper and were used to decorate walls and ceiling beams in the cottages of Polish peasants. Demonstrate how to fold paper (in half vertically, in quarters, or diagonally) to make a symmetrical design. Popular subjects were roosters, peacocks, stars, flowers, barnyard animals, and scenes that might include trees or houses. Colored designs are cut out and glued onto the black background Japan: Kirigami or Mon-Kiri. Kirigami is similar to origami in that paper is carefully folded, then cuts are made in the folds, much like making snowflake patterns. This gives a symmetrical design. Mon-Kiri designs were often used as family crests. Mexico: Papel picado. These are paper-cuts on thin tissue paper for celebrations of all kinds such as Day of the Dead, weddings, or various holidays. This type of cutpaper involves designs of people, skulls, flowers, butterflies, or words. Draw a design with chalk on half the paper near the fold. Try to make your design fill the paper. Cut through both halves of the paper at the same time. Curriculum Connections Math: symmetry. Divide the class into groups, and have each group look up a different paper-cutting tradition on the Internet (with the exception of silhouettes, the other paper-cuttings are basically symmetrical). Each person in the group will create a paper-cutting in the manner of a particular culture, as well as work on a group report (oral or written) about a culture that produces paper-cutting in a particular manner. The paper-cuts can use radial or formal symmetry. Language arts: heirloom certificate. Paper-cutting examples can be a portion of a special parchment certificate that could become a treasured heirloom. Students can research a special date in their family and create a certificate to commemorate the occasion (a wedding, birthdate, graduation). Include the name, date, person who “issued” the certificate, and paper-cut decorations as a border or throughout the paper.

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Costa Rican Ox Cart Art Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–math Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art-color, shape, pattern, contrast

Materials–copy paper, flat white or black heavy paper plates (9” or 10½” in diameter, available online), tracing paper, compass, protractor, ruler, pencil, acrylic paint, paper towels

Vocabulary–diameter, concentric circles, radius, center, circumference, compass, mandala, carreta, angle, border, radial symmetry

Background Information The ox cart is a national symbol of Costa Rica. At one time, there were 10,000 of them in Costa Rica, used for taking coffee from hill plantations to the ports, from where Costa Rican coffee was shipped all over the world. Solid wheels were developed to prevent the carts from becoming mired in the frequently muddy roads. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the artistic wife of one of the cart owners decided to decorate the wheels of her husband’s cart, and a tradition was born. Today, annual cart painting competitions are held, but the carts (carretas) or replicas are now primarily used as sculpture, garden ornaments filled with flowers, or serving carts.

Figure 7.8a and 7.8b  Costa Rican Ox Cart. c. 2007. The traditional oxcart seen here is primarily used today as a garden decoration or serving cart. The single antique wheel is on display in a wheel-maker’s shop in Costa Rica.


202 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS The beautiful geometric (circular) designs, and other designs such as flowers, Costa Rican birds, and landscapes, may also be seen on bowls and serving trays. Preparation Try this first before teaching it. Students would first draw in pencil before painting or filling in with marker or colored pencil. Most of the designs on wheels are painted with 12–24 large points, with smaller spokes and curved designs within concentric circles behind or between. The circle has 360 degrees. By dividing 360 into 12 (spokes), you would use 30-degree angles on the protractor to divide the circle. Many of the geometric and flower designs are also painted on platters, which many visitors like to purchase as souvenirs. Students could make a drawing of flowers or a bird and jungle background. A platter might be your preference for having students make a circular design. Process Ox carts in Costa Rica were used for many years to take coffee to the port. Today, they are not used for this purpose but are considered a popular art form in Costa Rica and are often seen in parades or used for home and garden decorations. Many of the geometric and flower designs are also painted on platters, which many visitors like to purchase as souvenirs. 1. Wagon wheel. If students prefer to make the geometric design, this can be drawn on paper. When they have finished drawing, they may select several colors, and paint within the lines with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint covers the pencil drawings. 2. Costa Rican tray. Sturdy, disposable, flat paper plates (such as Chinette®) are ideal for decorative painting in the Costa Rican style. Use acrylic paint to interpret designs in the same geometric style used for the ox cart wheels, or instead paint a landscape, flowers, or a parrot surrounded with green leaves. Adaptation for Younger Students Paint a tray with radial symmetry. Younger children can paint flowers on a flat black or white plate using radial symmetry, after having made a pattern the easy way. Have the students begin with a square piece of copy paper, folding it in half one direction, then folding it in the opposite direction, then folding it diagonally from one corner to another. These folds give eight lines in perfect radial symmetry. They can draw a variety of sizes of flowers on the lines. Use tracing paper or show them how to use pencil to scribble over the back of the paper before centering and taping the drawing on the plate and firmly redrawing the design. For a shiny finish, the designs can be painted with acrylic paint. If using tempera, it could be coated with polymer medium or thinned white glue to add shine.

CHAPTER SEVEN: Multicultural Art


Woven Pouches Grades–3–5 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, color, variety, form, pattern, balance, contrast

Materials–6.5” × 13” notched looms from art supply catalog, tape, thin warping string, thick weaving yarn

Vocabulary–loom, warp, weft, functional, decorative, tasseling, looping, double over/under.

Figure 7.9  Woven Yarn Pouch, Farah Brimer, Grade 4, Yarn and string, 6” × 8”, Ross Elementary School, Parkway school District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Lauren Schaefer.

Background Information Weavings have been done and continue to be done by many cultures all over the world. You may want to teach about a certain culture with this lesson. It is possible to research Native American, African, Asian, and European weavings to customize this lesson to a particular style. However, weaving is a beautiful art seen all around us and can be taught simply as a new art form. This lesson introduces not only this new art form but also the concept of functional versus decorative.


204 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Preparation Consider sending a note to parents of the students who will be weaving. Explain your new endeavor in the art room and ask if anyone might want to send in actual weaving, either decorative or functional, for you to show the class. You may get weavings from several different cultures! Also prepare a slideshow of weaving images from the Internet and post any possible posters or prints. Familiarize yourself with different types of weaving techniques by researching on the Internet. You may want to practice several techniques ahead of time. If possible, order pre-notched looms ahead of time from an art supply catalog. While it is possible for students to make their own looms, it is time consuming. Since the weaving itself will take more art classes than other projects, it is advisable to save time on the looms. Have plenty of string for warp and thick yarn for weaving available. The thicker the yarn, the better! It will help cut down on the time needed for the lesson. Process 1. If possible, pass around actual weavings for students to feel and examine. Show additional weaving examples from the Internet. Introduce the process of weaving for students to touch and see examples. 2. Discuss the difference between functional and decorative weaving. Show examples of each and show an example of the pouch they will be weaving. 3. Demonstrate how to warp the loom with a thin one-ply yarn or string. Students should take turns using the whole spool of string. Tape or tie the end of the string at the beginning notch. Warp the front and back of the whole loom at once, going from front to back. When finished, cut the string from the spool and tape or tie the end near the last notch in the loom. Show them how to start weaving on both sides of the loom (going around the sides from front to back). Begin with a simple over/under technique. 4. As they work, introduce optional advanced techniques: tasseling, looping, double over/under. 5. After students are halfway up their loom on both sides, they should finish by weaving just on one side of the loom the remainder of the way to the top. This creates the flap for the pouch. (They should weave the rest of the way up the loom on just one side.) 6. Show how to take the weaving off the loom by cutting the warp strings on the back and tying double knots on both sides to secure. 7. Have them turn it inside out after it is off the loom. Advanced options: Show a variety of finishing ideas for those students who love the extra challenge—for example, add a button to secure the flap, add a braided strap, add beads, or add more specialty weaving techniques to add a degree of difficulty.




he tradition of handmade pottery has evolved all over the world as people felt the need for utensils as cooking and storage vessels, sculpture to represent spiritual needs, and decorative architectural elements. An ancient pot seen in a museum in China appears to be a basket encased in clay that became scorched in a fire. Perhaps it was an accidental discovery that clay would make a basket waterproof, and that, if the clay-covered basket were put in a fire, it would last longer. Students may be fascinated about the long history of pottery, and how archaeologists can tell a great deal about a civilization just from the pieces of broken pottery they dig up. Most knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations comes from paintings on pottery. One can deduce how people lived by their artifacts. In this section, introductory projects are given that will expose students to several methods of working with clay. Because ceramics is a universal art form, any of these techniques could be adapted to fit almost any culture. Decorative designs on pots also appear to be universal, with identical motifs from nature, geometric designs, spirals, and curved lines found on pottery in cultures throughout the world. These projects could easily complement a study unit in another subject such as science or social studies. Take advantage of the units or themes being covered at individual grade levels, and you will find students informed, eager, and enthusiastic about what they are making. Because some schools do not have access to a kiln, you can adapt some of these projects to use self-hardening or modeling clay. If you ask students what their favorite activity is in art, many will answer that they love ceramics most. Perhaps it is because the opportunity to do ceramics is not offered so frequently as other media. With careful planning, even with a large student body, each student can do at least one ceramic project a year. As with other techniques, the more opportunities students have to work in a given medium, the more proficient they will become. Results will vary depending on the age and skill-level of the students. Some of these pieces will be found on tables in the parents’ homes long after the students are grown.



Some Considerations for Working with Clay Students will need to be taught and reminded that clay is very fragile and breakable. As clay begins to dry, it becomes more and more fragile and must be handled with care. For example, picking up a greenware ceramic mug by the handle will result in the mug falling to the floor and only the handle in your grasp. After the pieces are fired, emphasize that they are stronger, but if dropped to the floor, they will definitely break. It is best to make students aware of this in advance to limit tears from accidents.

HAND-BUILDING Methods include pinch pots, coil building, or slab building. Sculptural methods can be additive (built up) or subtractive (taking portions away from a general form). Within these methods, an infinite number of possibilities are available for elementary and middle school teachers. Working in ceramics is a skill-building process. Some beginning students are first taught how to make a pinch pots or simple small sculpture before moving on to coil or slab building. Any one of these processes is entirely appropriate at any age level.

DISTRIBUTING THE CLAY Clay is normally purchased in large blocks. Pull a wire or piece of string through the clay to divide the block into the appropriate number of pieces, then lightly mist the cut pieces with a spray bottle and store back in the original bag until class time. Collect plastic bags in advance to give each student so the unused portion of clay is kept damp while the student is working.

WEDGING Clay must be wedged before use to eliminate air bubbles. Air inside the finished artwork can cause the piece to explode in firing. If you are wedging larger quantities yourself, place the clay on canvas and use a kneading motion. Check for air bubbles by cutting apart with a string or wire. Students can wedge clay by forming a ball and pushing and turning the clay on a piece of newsprint paper or cloth, so that the clay does not stick to the table. About 2–3 minutes of wedging should be enough. It is best to have students stand to wedge their clay, so they have enough downward pressure on the clay.

CONDITIONING CLAY Although you can buy powdered clay by the sack and add water, very few teachers choose to do this. Occasionally, pre-mixed clay might already be too dry to use when it is delivered. To condition clay, use a wooden brush handle to punch deep holes and fill these with water.


Cover and store the clay overnight, and it will absorb the water. If the clay is totally dry, it can be put into a barrel or bucket and covered with water until it becomes soft enough to work, then excess water poured off. The water-logged clay can be put on Masonite or plaster bats. (Bats are made by pouring plaster of Paris into aluminum pie tins.) Remember, clay is ancient soil. The only clay that can’t be reconditioned with water is that which has been fired; however, small amounts of fired clay can be pulverized to make grog (clay ­stiffener). If you are using recycled clay, it is advised that you wedge the clay and form it into individual balls (stored in a plastic bag) for distribution.

WORKING CONSISTENCY Test clay for elasticity by rolling a ½”-thick coil. If this can easily be bent around a finger without cracking, it is ideal for work. It is far easier to have the clay at the correct consistency than to have students using bowls of water at their tables to smooth the outside. Avoid using water to smooth the surface, because the outside dries more quickly and tends to crack. It should be used only if no further smoothing can be done with their fingers. A large sponge could be cut to make smaller sponges (1” × 1” × 1”) that could be dampened to smooth the surface.

IDENTIFYING THE ARTWORK Depending on the ages of your students, you will probably prefer to write the student’s first and last names, grade, and classroom teacher’s initials on the bottom of the work upon collecting it. For very young children, it would be lovely to have a parent or older student–aide helping in this crucial step of identification.

STORING CLAY OVERNIGHT OR LONGER With primary classes in particular, make every effort to complete the project in one working period. To store unfinished work, dampen paper towels and loosely wrap them around the work-in-progress. Wrap the work completely in plastic, then store. As students are working, place a piece of masking tape at each person’s work area and print their name with a Sharpie marker. At the end of class, students can take the tape off the table and place on their plastic bag.

SAFE STORAGE Ideally you would have closed drying cabinets, but reality says you will be fortunate if you can set aside a section of a counter. You should have a place where the artwork can safely dry slowly, be easily identified by class name, and easily retrievable by each student. Work can be stored by class on large pieces of Masonite and moved.



CLAY THROWING (AROUND THE ROOM) Control the natural tendency of children to find out they can make small balls of clay to throw. At almost any age, one or two students per class will think of this. It may never become a problem if you explain that if you see any sign of it, that student’s clay will be put away for the day. With older students, the student who throws clay may be invited to stay with you after school and wipe down surfaces in the entire room.

WORKING SURFACES Squares (approximately 12”) of linoleum tile or Masonite placed on newspaper make great individual work surfaces. When the students have finished, they can scrape excess clay into the paper and throw it away, wiping the surface with a paper towel and stacking the square for another class. Burlap, canvas squares, or wallpaper samples are also good work surfaces. If the clay is in good working condition, even newsprint can be used for a work surface.

TOOL SUBSTITUTES Purchased tool sets are lovely, but rarely available in sufficient quantity for classroom use. Substitutes are wood craft sticks (evenly trimmed flat with a knife), pencils, needles stuck in a cork (as a substitute for needle tools), sharpened ¼” dowels, 1” × 12” dowel “rolling pins,” garlic press in place of a Klay Gun®, clay extruder (for making hair), stainless steel or plastic spoons and knives, and used dental tools. For teacher use, you will need one or two wire cutters attached between 2” sections of ½” dowels for cutting through large quantities of clay. These are available from art supply companies.

CLEAN-UP Start early enough to leave the surfaces as clean as possible. Have enough sponges so tables can be wiped down twice, then they should be dried with paper towels. Keep a bucket where students can reach it to rinse sponges and to avoid washing quantities of clay down the sink. The clay settles to the bottom of the bucket and can be recycled.

FIRING Make sure the artwork is completely dry. If it feels cool when you hold it against your cheek, it may still be damp. In the first (bisque) firing, pieces can touch. Make sure glazed pieces do not touch. After glazes have been added, make sure the bottom of the piece is clean, or place it on stilts. Turn the kiln on its lowest setting and lid propped slightly open for the first hour before closing. Then turn the kiln to higher settings gradually during the day. Many schools have digital kilns. If you do not have the directions for use, look the kiln up


on the Internet for firing settings. Once a year, vacuum the kiln (with a shop-vac) or sweep with a small broom and dustpan to get rid of small particles. Paint the shelves with kiln wash to cover glaze drips and prevent work from sticking.

REPAIRING A certain percentage of student work will break. If it breaks before the piece is completely dry, soak the two broken edges in damp paper towels until they are approximately the same consistency, then put together with slip, or slip with vinegar added. If the piece breaks during the bisque firing, glaze applied to both parts of the break might hold it together during the final firing. When a broken fired piece still has recognizable parts (not too many!), it can be glued, filled in with plaster of Paris, and painted. Two different colors of spray paint can cover a multitude of mistakes. And sometimes you just have to prepare students that there will be some breaks to deal with after the firing. Clay is very fragile!

FINISHING / GLAZING Most elementary and middle school teachers use purchased glazes rather than mixing their own. Underglazes can be applied to greenware (before a first firing), then a clear glaze applied for a second firing. Purchased glazes can be combined by over-painting for some interesting effects. All glazes should have the consistency of cream for best results. Shake vigorously with the jar turned upside down before opening. If the glaze is too thick, add water slowly and stir to the bottom of the jar with a clean paintbrush. Students should apply three coats of glaze (of a creamy consistency) to bisque ware. If they start at the same place for each coat, the glaze will have a chance to dry slightly between coats. Remind them that the bottoms of the pieces must be clean, unless you are able to stilt each piece in the kiln. Take note of the cone number to which the chosen glazes should be fired. This information will be on the label of the glaze jar. Most glazes require firing to cone 05–06 (1850–1940F). However, some are high-fire glazes, to cone 5–6. (2160–2230F) Be sure your kiln and the clay itself can handle a high-fire glaze setting without adverse effects. Note: Glazes do not always enhance clay pieces. Colors can often look garish and cheapen the beauty of ceramics. Unfortunately, there are many more glazes on the market that will disappoint than those than are visually pleasing in the end. Make samples of glazes that appeal to you for your projects, buying only one or two jars. If the result is successful, then buy more of your favorites. Many teachers prepare sample test fires on small squares of fired clay, so they can show classes how the glazes will look after firing. Glaze, as it appears in the jar, is entirely different from how it looks after the glaze fire. Limiting students to a small selection of those glazes you find to be successful is much smarter than a wide selection of many that might disappoint. The following text provides more suggestions for finishing techniques that offer more rustic and subtle finishes. Painting: After one firing (bisque ware), Ceramic pieces could be finished by wiping shoe polish on and off, spray painted, or painted with acrylic paint, with the excess washed off,


210 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS so that the color goes into markings and depressions in the piece. Other options include iron oxide washes, available from art supply catalogs. These are also painted on with the excess sponged off for the best effect. Acrylic paint cannot be re-fired in the kiln, as it will burn away. However, iron oxide does need to be fired again for permanence. Another option is to glaze the piece with clear gloss glaze, then use permanent markers for minimal color in places. This method works nicely for primary students.

DEFINITIONS OF CERAMIC TERMS Armature—a support for clay sculpture while it is being constructed Bat—a flat plaster of Paris block for drying clay; plaster poured into pie tins to harden Battens—two ¼” × 1½” × 12” boards for rolling out even slabs of clay or for paddling Bisque—a first firing of clay without glazes (sometimes called bisque ware) Bone dry—unfired clay that is free of water and ready to fire Burnish—to polish clay while it is in the greenware stage with the back of a spoon or a stone Ceramics—clay products that have been fired for permanence Clay—a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals for uses such as making pottery, bricks, tiles, and sculpture Coiling—a method of creating pots by building up bottom and walls with even, rope-like coils Cone—mixture of clay and glaze with a specific, established melting point; used in firing Engobe—thinned clay used to make designs on a contrasting colored clay body Firing—making clay structures permanent by subjecting the products to high temperatures in a kiln Glaze—ground minerals in a solution that adhere to the clay body that when fired have the properties of glass Greenware—clay in an unfired state Grog—pulverized fired clay is sometimes combined with clay as a stiffener Kiln—electric, gas, or wood-fired oven for firing greenware Leather hard—unfired clay that isn’t quite dry, yet firm enough to carve or burnish Modeling—forming sculpture by the addition or removal of clay Plaster of Paris—calcined gypsum used in bats for drying clay and to make molds for casting Potter’s wheel—a wheel for making pots driven by hand, foot, or electric power Raku—a low fire often done outdoors that produces dark areas and iridescence Scoring—making marks on two pieces of clay before joining together with slip Scraper—shaped piece of fine sheet steel for use in forming objects Sgraffito—cutting through a surface layer of contrasting engobe (clay slip) to expose a different color underneath


Slab—clay evenly rolled flat and formed by draping or joining Slip—clay diluted with water to the consistency of cream; used for joining or as an engobe Throwing—creating vessels on a potter’s wheel Turning—completing a piece of ware by rotating on a wheel and trimming with tools Underglaze—colors that can be painted on bisque or greenware that will show through a clear glaze Wax resist—the application of melted wax to the foot or body of a clay object to resist the glaze Wedging—kneading moist clay to eliminate air bubbles and produce a uniform texture Note: This partial list of definitions is from The Art Teacher’s Book of Lists by Helen D. Hume (©Jossey Bass, 1998 and 2010).


Japanese Tea Bowl Grades–K-4 Curriculum connection—social studies Time needed–1–3 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, space, form, pattern, balance, variety

Materials / equipment–½–1-lb clay per student, kiln, glazes, plastic bags for storing work-inprogress, plastic knives or pencils for scoring, newsprint or cloth for wedging

Vocabulary–wedge, score, slip, kiln, potter, tea ceremony, foot (on ceramic), glaze

Background Information Japanese tea bowls date from the sixteenth century, although fired clay vessels dating back to 8000–7500 BC have been found in Japan. The Japanese tea ceremony has a longstanding tradition. Part of the ceremony involves handling and examining tea bowls (even the bottom). The uneven finish that is a result of the glaze or firing method is so greatly admired that some old, individual tea bowls have been given names. The pinch pot method gives the tea bowls exceptional strength, allowing them to be raku-fired (low-temperature wood firing). Tea bowls often rest on a small rim, the “foot.” A pinch pot, such as a Japanese tea bowl, is excellent for introducing students to ceramics. They learn about the long history of ceramics as a fine craft. They also learn the nature of clay—that it sometimes that it has a “will” of its own and doesn’t


212 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS quite do what the potter has in mind. The secret for a successful pinch pot is to have well-wedged clay of the right consistency. Pinch pots can be used singly or combined to make various forms. These pots do not always have to remain round, but they usually begin with a round ball held in the palm of the hand. Techniques such as wedging, incising, glazing, sgraffito (scratching a design through a different colored layer of slip, also termed engobe) can all be incorporated into this project. Preparation Send a note home to parents in advance about your upcoming project, asking if anyone has ever been to a Japanese tea ceremony or owns an authentic Japanese tea bowl that they would like to show the students. Discuss form with students, showing examples of actual pinch pots. Have students pass around an example pot or two so they can feel the thickness of the bottom and the wall of the pots. You can also prepare digital and poster images of actual Japanese tea bowls. Collect small plastic bags and twist ties (optional) to store the work in progress if you think the project will take your class longer than one class period. Mix a small plastic bowl of slip for each table, combining clay and water until it has a creamy consistency. Cover with a lid. Divide the clay into individual size pieces (1/2–1-lb balls). Mist the clay if it feels dry and keep in a large plastic bag until ready for use. Process 1. Demonstrate how to wedge clay, pushing and turning on a piece of cloth or newsprint for 2–3 minutes. 2. Show how to form a round ball in the palm of the hand. The curved fingers of the holding hand give general shape to the pot. The pot is turned in the hand as it is developed with the turning hand. Show students how to use a thumb to make a depression almost to the bottom of the ball but leaving enough clay so the bottom could be shaped without spreading it too far open at the top. This will ensure the piece can fire without exploding in the kiln. Keep a thumb inside and rotate the ball, squeezing it between the thumb and fingers on the outside. Place your fingers vertically on the outside of the bowl and keep turning and shaping the bowl by gently using the thumb and fingers together to make a larger opening. Have the students attempt to keep the walls almost vertical and of an even thickness from bottom to top. NOTE: It is common for students to leave the bottom much thicker than instructed. C ­ irculate the room and check the thickness on each pot to ensure it is not too thick to dry for firing. (No thicker than ½”.)


3. Place the bowl on a table to show how to flatten the bottom, if desired. Allow the bowl to dry slightly, then use it to attach a “foot.” Attach the coil by scoring the bowl and the coil where they will come together. Demonstrate engraving x’s along both surfaces. Then show how to apply slip generously with your finger to both surfaces and smoothing the foot into the base of the bowl. 4. Here are some options for finishing the bowl: ••Smooth the top rim or make it even by scraping down the high parts of the walls. ••When the bowl is still slightly wet, you can decorate by pressing a leaf, piece of grass, or texture stamp into the side of the pot. (The grass will disappear when the pot is fired.) ••If the bowl is leather hard (firm but not dry), use the back of a spoon to polish the outside. ••After firing, you can apply glaze on the entire inside (three coats) and partially on the outside, leaving some unglazed areas for contrast. Curriculum Connection

Social Studies Have a tea ceremony. Try to invite someone from your community who is knowledgeable about the tea ceremony (or has even seen one) to discuss it with the students. Alternatively, students could research the Internet and write a short paragraph and conduct their own tea ceremony when the tea bowls are completed.

Figure 8.1a  Summer Tea Bowl, Edo period (1615–1868) or Meiji period (1868–1912). Ōtagaki Rengetsu, 1791–1875, Japanese, earthenware with overglaze slip and underglaze iron, 1 7/8” × 6 1/8”. Gift of J. Lionberger Davis, St. Louis Art Museum.



Figure 8.1b  Raku Tea Bowl, Edo period (1615–1868) or late Edo period (nineteenth century), glazed earthenware, 3” × 4 5/8”, Harry G. Steele Collection. Gift of Grace C. Steele, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Figure 8.1c  Tea Bowl, Chinese Southern Song Dynasty, thirteenth century, glazed stoneware, Jian ware, 3” × 4 5/8”, Harry G. Steele Collection. Gift of Grace C. Steele, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Native American Coiled Pottery Project Grades–3–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form, line, variety, contrast pattern Vocabulary–paddle, coil, slab, score, slip, scraper, template

Materials–clay, pencils, rolling pins or thick dowel rods if using slab bases, paper, tagboard for templates, plastic for covering work-inprogress, tile, Masonite, canvas or newsprint to work on, decorator wheels optional, knives, paddles (plywood: 12” long × 1½” wide × ¼” thick), scraper, slip (thinned clay), small plastic bowls with lids for storing slip, glazes or underglazes


Background Information Native Americans of the Southwestern Pueblos have developed unique decorations for their coil-formed ceramics. Each pueblo group’s artwork is still produced today much the same as when it began in the classic Pueblo period of AD 1050–1300. Many fine books are available that describe the differences in appearance among pots from Pueblos such as San Ildefonso, Hopi, Acoma, Santa Clara, Jimez, and Taos (to name only a few). Individual families of potters from these pueblos have become internationally known, as they pass their traditions from generation to generation. For example, Maria Martinez, the famous San Ildefonso potter, was selected because of her skills to recreate the black ware for which that region has become famous. Her family continues her tradition. All of these groups construct their pots entirely by hand, beginning by digging and soaking their own clay, coil building their pots, and preparing natural dyes for decoration purposes at the end. Preparation Locate any coil pots available for the students to pass around. Have them feel the thickness of the pot at the bottom, sides, and top by placing one hand or fingers inside and the other outside. Search for visuals of Pueblo coil pots online. Prepare a digital presentation to inspire, but not overwhelm, the students. Display any available posters in the classroom to refer to during the project. Collect or order supplies listed in the preceding text. Divide the clay for each day in to approximately 1-lb sections for each student. Be sure to condition the clay so it is moist enough for rolling coils. Store the divided clay in a large plastic bag and mist as needed. Process 1. Students in grades 6–8 should be encouraged to start with a drawing. A tagboard template (side-view cut-out pattern) will help in sticking to the original idea. 2. Have students prepare their own slip to store with their project for each class. Mix clay and water thoroughly with your fingers, breaking up the clay until a creamy consistency is achieved. Students should mark their name on their slip container. 3. Demonstrate how to wedge clay, as described in the section titled “Wedging.” 4. A coiled pot can begin either with a coiled or slab bottom. If using a slab bottom, show how to roll out a slab (about ½” thick) on a cloth or newsprint with a rolling pin or thick dowel rod, then trace a circle using a lid or roll of tape close to the desired size. Cut the circle using a sharp pencil. With a pencil or knife, score the edge of the top of the slab, making cuts into the clay. These will be the “tire treads” that will grip the first coil.


216 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 5. Demonstrate rolling coils on a table, using the flat part of the palm. Roll from the center outward. The coils should be of uniform thickness. 6. To join coils, first to the base and then to each other, show how to use a pencil or knife to score the two surfaces that will touch. Coat these surfaces with slip (thinned clay). Cut the end of a coil at a slant, then score and use slip to join it to the slanted end of the finished coil. Apply three coils, then smooth them together on both the inside and outside. This is best achieved with the scraper tool. Carefully smooth the top. 7. You have several choices for finishing the surface, as described in the following text.

While you are forming the pot •• Paddle the outside of the pot with a flat stick while a hand supports the inside. Use a scraper to give a smooth finish. •• Smooth only the inside, leaving coils showing on the outside. •• Pinch and twist motion on the outside to join one coil with the one beneath it.

When the pot is leather hard (almost dry) •• Polish it with the back of a spoon, or with a smooth stone, in the style of the Pueblos.

Options after it has been fired •• Show your digital presentation again, emphasizing Pueblo patterns. •• Encourage students to allow the natural color of clay to remain in many places on the pot. •• Have them plan the design to be painted on paper first. This can be a band that goes around the pot in one area. •• Draw the design in pencil on the fired pot. The pencil and all eraser marks will burn off in the glaze firing. •• Glaze: Painting one glaze on top of a closely color-related glaze sometimes gives a more interesting effect than a single glaze. Perhaps the glaze can be used only in the patterned area. •• Rub it with shoe polish and rub off. This can be done in unglazed areas to give the raw clay more character but should be done after all firings are complete. •• Paint with underglazes to mimic the natural dye colors of the Pueblo.

Adaptations for Younger Students Introduce younger grades to the technique of rolling and attaching coils through the use of modeling clay.


Alternative Project

Coils Formed in a Bowl Coils can also be formed on the inside of a firm plastic container, metal bowl, or food storage bowl. While coils can be built up in the normal manner, this allows them to be rolled into a spiral, used in a wavy line or zigzags, made into balls, and to have open spaces. Start a collection of bowls in advance for this project. With variations in forms, such a pot can be quite interesting.

Figure 8.2a  Coil Pot drawings.

Figure 8.2b  Acoma Pueblo Pot, c. 1995, Garcia Family, 6¾” × 6¼”, private collection.



Figure 8.2c  Santa Clara Pueblo Pot, c. 1990, 7” × 6”, collection of Dr. and Mrs. Steven Kunz.

Figure 8.2d  Polished pot with wax designs (to reveal the underneath clay color), 1982, Xingu, unknown Amazonian artist, 5½” × 6”, private collection.

Figure 8.2e  Pot, 1999, Yolanda Lopez Quezada, 10” × 8 1/8”, Mata Oritz, Mexico, private collection.



Lidded Coil Pots Grades–3–8 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form, variety, contrast, pattern Vocabulary–paddle, coil, slab, score, slip, scraper, template, kiln, glaze

Materials–clay, pencils, paper, tagboard for templates, plastic for covering work-in-progress, tile, Masonite, canvas or newsprint to work on, decorator wheels optional, knives, ­paddles (­plywood: 12” long × 1½” wide × ¼” thick), scraper, slip (thinned clay), small plastic bowls with lids for storing slip, iron oxide, diluted dark brown acrylic paint or dark brown shoe polish

Background Information This project can be as easy or as advanced as you wish to make it. It can be done without templates for the coil pot forms in younger grades, allowing the work to evolve without a set plan. For older students, the drawing plan, template, and decorator wheel are all good additions, so they can achieve a more professional end result. You can also make your own personal choice between a slab base and lid, or to allow students to do the entire project with coils. Coil pots and lidded coil pots have been done in many cultures for thousands of years. You can choose which style and culture you would like to teach with this project. The image shown with this project is from China. Some cultures have more patterns and colors on their ceramics, while others are more subdued and can even have no glaze at all, as shown in the figure. The more patterns and colors you involve in the project, the more class periods it will take. The materials list and the process that follows will offer a more natural look to the project. Collect or order the supplies listed under materials for this project. Divide the clay for each day into approximately 1-lb sections for each student. Be sure to condition the clay, so that it is moist enough for rolling coils. Store the divided clay in a large plastic bag and mist as needed. Cut various sizes of circle templates from tagboard to offer for lids, if using slab construction for the lids. Process 1. Students in grades 6–8 should be encouraged to start with a drawing, then a tagboard template (side-view cut-out pattern) to help with accuracy in the building steps. 2. Middle school students can also prepare their own slip to store with their project at the end of each class. Show how to mix clay and water thoroughly with your fingers, breaking up the clay until a creamy consistency is achieved. Have students mark their name on their slip container. For younger grades, you can mix one container of slip in advance for each table.


220 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 3. Demonstrate how to wedge clay, as described in the section titled “Wedging.” 4. A coiled pot can begin either with a coiled or slab bottom. If using a slab bottom, show how to roll a long coil, then score and add slip on one edge of the whole length. Roll the coil into a spiral, starting from the middle point and working your way outward. Smooth any cracking with a fingertip dipped in water. Be sure the base is the right size if using templates. 5. Add scoring and slip to the top of the spiral edge to receive the first coils for the walls of the pot. Demonstrate rolling coils on a table, using the flat part of the palm. Roll from the center of the coil outward for uniform thickness. 6. Cut the end of a coil at a slant, then score and use slip to join it to the slanted end of the finished coil. Apply three coils, then smooth them together with a scraper tool if possible. Another option is to smooth only the inside of the coils together, allowing the coils to show on the outside. If you are allowing coils to show on the outside, all shaping would be done with the hands. Encourage students in grades 6–8 to use their template to ensure they are following their template. Circulate to give advice on how to attach the coils to curve inward or outward, according to their plan. 7. Demonstrate smoothing the top edge as level and flat as possible for the lid. 8. If using slab construction for the lids, distribute circle templates and have students choose the one that best fits their pot form. Using directions in project 8-2, show how to roll out and cut a flat slab to fit. 9. If using the coil method for the lid, follow the same directions for the base of the pot. 10. Slip and score a knob to the lid. The knob can be modeled as desired or formed as a loop with a short coil. 11. On the underside of the lid, slip and score a coil into place to fit inside the pot when placed on top. This will hold the lid in place.

Figure 8.3  Covered Vessel with Four Lug Handles, Ming dynasty, fifteenth–sixteenth century, Chinese, Quanzhou ware; stoneware with incised, carved, and molded decoration under brown glaze, with designs in sgraffito, 5” × 8¼” × 7”. Spink Asian Art Collection, bequest of Edith J. and C. C. Johnson Spink, St. Louis Art Museum.


12. Have students place the lid on the pot for drying so the two forms will shrink at the same rate. If either is too wet, place a few small torn pieces of paper towel in between to prevent sticking. Remove any towels the following day for the rest of the drying period of about a week. 13. After bisque firing, consider finishing with an iron oxide wash, and fire again. Other options include rubbing on dark brown shoe polish or painting with a wash of dark brown acrylic paint. These finishes should not be fired again.


African Slab Masks Grades–3–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form, line, space, variety, contrast Vocabulary–slab, score, slip, scraper, template, glaze, underglaze, kiln

Materials–pencils, scissors, glue, clay, rolling pins or thick dowel rods, paper, tagboard for ­templates, plastic for covering work-in-progress, tile, Masonite, canvas or newsprint to work on, newspaper or newsprint and tape for support under the masks, sharp pencils or knives, slip (thinned clay), small plastic bowls with lids for storing slip, glazes, colored slips or underglazes, raffia, straw, shells or other items for decoration.

Background Information Traditional African Masks were and continue to be used for ceremony and ritual. Since most masks are used for ceremonial purposes, they are a part of an overall body costume. It is thought that the wearer of the mask turns into the spirit represented by the mask when worn during a ceremony, which also involves music and dance. The various deigns of African masks often represent individual groups of people. Some are an abstracted human style, while others are a combination of human and animal characteristics. While the unusual or abstract designs may look strange to us, they often represent qualities such as humility, wisdom, or strength. African masks are most often made of wood, but other materials were sometime used, including metal, clay, and lightweight stone. Decorations can be seaweed, seashells, feathers, etc. Colors are typically natural. The colors used most often are dark red, black, brown, and white. Preparation Research images of authentic African masks and prepare a digital presentation of those that could be built using mainly the slab method of clay construction. Also search for any African masks that are available and display in the classroom.


222 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Mix slip for each table by mixing clay and water with your fingers until you achieve the consistency of cream. Cover with lids. Divide clay into approximately 1–2-lb portions for each student for the first day, then smaller portions for consecutive days. Place clay in a large plastic bag and mist with water as needed. Process 1. After a presentation on African mask visuals, have students draw a plan for the outline of the mask, using as much space as the clay amount permits. After they cut it out, show how to fold the paper horizontally and vertically and trim for symmetry, if desired. 2. Show how to form wadded newspaper or newsprint into a large potato shape. Use only a couple pieces of tape to hold the shape. 3. After wedging, demonstrate how to model the clay and begin to flatten with just your hands, so that it will roll out to the desired shape. 4. Draw and cut any openings shown on the paper plan. They can be traced, if desired. If openings are needed to tie on embellishments such as hair or feathers along the edge, demonstrate how to poke holes using a pencil to create a wide enough hole and far enough from the edge to prevent breaking. 5. Features that need to be added with more clay can be done by using shape, coil, or slab methods. Remind students of the score, slip, smooth method. 6. Before putting clay into their individual bags between classes, or when putting the mask out to dry, students should place it on their wadded newsprint form so the mask will take on a natural curve. 7. After drying and firing, discuss glaze options. Parts of the mask can stay the natural clay color. Show visuals again of how the color is achieved on an authentic mask. It is likely that underglazes or slip of contrasting color will achieve the natural look of the African mask. 8. When all firings are complete, work with additional materials such as shells, feathers, raffia, jute, etc. Glue as needed. Curriculum Connection Social studies. Students can research specific ceremonies for African masks. Draw a picture and describe in words the design of the rest of the costume. Describe the symbolism of the facial features on your mask. What kind of dance might be used while wearing the masks? What kinds of music would we hear? Students could ­present their findings to the rest of the class.


Figure 8.4a  Mask, 2016, Romuald Hazoumè, 1962, Beninese, mixed media, 14¼” × 12 7/8” × 2¾”. The body of the mask is made from a round plastic container lid with the handle of the lid representing the nose and the pouring spout representing the mouth. A crack in the plastic above the “nose” has been sutured closed with copper wire. Ten wooden pipes have been placed in holes drilled into the top edge of the lid. What appears to be melted plastic is centered on the forehead. Dimensions: 14¼” × 12 7/8” × 2¾”, William W. Baker Art Acquisition Fund, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Figure 8.4b  Mask, Eket, nineteenth–mid-twentieth century, wood and pigment, 8½” × 6¾” × 4”. Gift of the Tranin Family from the collection of Donald H. Tranin, ­Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.




Corner of a Room a La Sandy Skoglund Grades–6–8 Time needed–5–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form, color, space, variety, contrast Vocabulary–Surrealism, installations, complementary colors, slab, score, slip, scraper, tagboard for templates, glaze, kiln

Materials–pencils, scissors, ruler, glue and/or hot glue, clay, rolling pins or thick dowel rods, 1 ½” × 12” × ¼” wooden battens (to keep slabs level when rolling), paper, tagboard for templates, plastic for covering work-in-progress, tile, Masonite, canvas or newsprint to work on, Styrofoam trays or old cafeteria trays on which to stack clay pieces on while stored, sharp pencils or knives, slip (thinned clay), small plastic bowls with lids for storing slip, glazes, tempera or acrylic paint, clear gloss spray finish

Background Information This lesson utilizes both slab-building as well as modeling techniques. The students will learn about the artist Sandy Skoglund and surrealism along the way! This artist is both an installation artist as well as a photographer. She builds elaborate sets that can take months to complete. Her work often depicts a monochromatic background with a large number of unrelated animals, fish, etc, in a very bright contrasting color. For this lesson, a complementary color scheme is suggested. Her installations are made from various materials, which includes clay. Some of her best-known works include Radioactive Cats, Revenge of the Goldfish, Fox Games, The Cocktail Party, etc. Preparation Prepare a digital presentation of Sandy Skoglund’s work, perhaps including other installation artists as well, such as Christo and Andy Goldsworthy. It will also be helpful to include some images of the color wheel and examples of the complementary color scheme used by Skoglund, as well as other examples such as in advertising. Display a color wheel in the room for reference. Cut templates for the walls and floor of the small ceramic rooms the students will build. Try not to plan walls taller than 6”, as they will have trouble standing up. Walls could be longer than 6”, but if that long, plan a shorter height. Floor templates should be cut for the various wall templates, so they will fit the space between the walls. All pieces should be relatively small, as though they will be building miniature rooms. Collect texture stamps to use for the walls and floor to mimic tiles, brick, wood, etc. Students can bring in plastic bags for storage of their work between classes and small plastic bowls with lids for mixing slip.


Cut the clay into approximately 2-lb sections for each student. Store in a large plastic bag and mist as needed. Additional smaller amounts of clay will be necessary later. Process 1. After wedging the clay, demonstrate how to form the clay into the general shape of the wall you want to make first. Then show how to roll the clay out to closely fit the template. Next, lay the flattened form on a sheet of newsprint or heavier paper and lay the tagboard template on top. Demonstrate using 1 1/2” × 12” × ¼” wooden battens on each side, using either a rolling pin or a 1” × 12” segment of a dowel. Cut each wall or floor template by laying the template on the clay, holding a ruler along the edge of the template and cut with either a knife or very sharp pencil, held upright. 2. Demonstrate how to stamp various textures on wall or floor pieces while they are lying flat. Also cut small windows while the slab is still lying flat. For storing work in progress, stack your walls and floor pieces flat on your tray with damp paper towels between the slabs. 3. Show how to join walls to the floor and to each other using scoring and slip on the surfaces that will touch. Place the walls on top of the floor, so you can reach the areas to be smoothed. Roll out very skinny coils (spaghetti noodle thin) to smooth into each joint for support. Another option is to tear the top edge of the walls for a more rustic look. 4. With small slabs and/or coils, show how to make simple furniture for the room. Remind students that no clay thicker than ½” is safe for firing. A bed will likely need to be hollowed out from underneath with a loop tool. A table could be made with a slab top and coil legs. If people are desired for the scene, form with a small ball for a head, slab body and coil legs. Keep these additions simple. 5. Dry and fire the clay room settings. Show how to paint one color of glaze on the whole room. Wash the excess glaze off with running water and a soft finger rub at the sink or over water bowls at the tables. This will force the glaze into all the texture markings and lightly tint the rest. Glaze fire the room setting. 6. Brainstorm what sort of surreal animal, fish, or bird could be invading the rooms. Quickly model small creatures of different sorts that could work as example ideas for the students. 7. Students should model many sizes and positions of one “creature” for their room. With their own room in front of them, they can try positioning some hanging over walls, crawling up walls, or hiding under things. Stress on variety in size and position of their creatures. All should be small enough to not require hollowing for firing. 8. Since bright color is needed on the creatures, tempera or acrylic paint topped with a spray gloss finish is suggested. The creatures will need to be glued or hot glued into the room, as paint would burn off in a firing. Remind students that they should be using the complementary color to the room color.



Figure 8.5  Radioactive Cats, 1980, Sandy Skoglund, American, silver dye bleach print, 26 1/8” × 32 7/8”, Alexandra R. Marshall, Millbrook, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, used with permission from Sandy Skoglund.


Ceramic Mural Grades–K-8 Curriculum connection–art history, social studies Time needed–5–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form, color, space, variety, contrast, emphasis Vocabulary–mosaic, glaze, mortar, theme, incise, kiln

Materials–newsprint, pencils, paper towels, plastic bags, scissors, glazes, alphabet noodles, marbles, clay. Equipment for mounting–exterior plywood, sealer for plywood, wooden edging strips, masonry screws, staple gun, staples, chicken wire, concrete/mortar mix

Background Information The tradition of glazed ceramic murals goes back before the Ishtar Gate in ancient Babylon in 575 BC This portion of the city wall had fantastic animals such as dragons, bulls, and lions. Byzantine and Roman mosaics remain as beautiful today as when they were created. Wall murals have a tradition that goes back almost 3,000 years. It is exciting for students to realize that they might make something that will be permanent in their school as long as the school exists! Pat Imming of Highland, Illinois, an experienced ceramic muralist (her huge murals grace Midwest regional towns, schools, and businesses), generously shared her method of creating ceramic murals with individual fired and glazed pieces. It is


imperative that someone with masonry experience be involved in this process, so that plans for hanging the finished mural are in place before the mural is begun (perhaps a parent, a local contractor familiar with sheer stress value, or your school’s maintenance department will work with you). The completed murals are composed of individual panels. All begin on a piece of approximately 2’ × 3’ exterior plywood that has been sealed on both sides and edges, then edged with wood strips (to contain the cement). The wood strips will be removed after the concrete has set. A finished outside edging may be added when the entire mural is finished. Holes are drilled in the plywood and masonry screws inset for mounting when the section is ready to hang. (Pat Imming says she uses the Tapcon® concrete stainless-steel screw design, which allows anchoring into concrete, brick, and block.) Two individual sections of chicken wire (larger than the plywood) are stapled separately to the board, and areas of the wire “lifted” to provide reinforcement to the concrete. After student pieces are fired and glazed, one section at a time is prepared and completed. Pat uses a concrete/mortar mix (two parts concrete + one-part mortar). Following the original plan, which might also include ceramic words, the larger pieces are put in first. Pat makes the murals she creates with students more interesting by filling in with marbles or broken pieces of clear or colored glass (making sure raw edges are well covered).

Figure 8.6a  Ishtar Gate, c. 575 BC, Pergamon Museum, Berlin.



Figure 8.6b  Ishtar Gate, detail of Chimera, c. 575 BC. Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

Preparation First, get permission (and perhaps financial encouragement) from the administration. Look around the school for a location for a ceramic mural (a big bare wall that cries out for a work of art). These are appropriate either indoors or outdoors. Discuss an appropriate theme for the mural with the students. The theme selected can be almost anything. Suggestions would be the people and activities in your school, or a subject that is appropriate to the school’s history or location. Because all classes may be involved in this, consider appropriate contributions from each age group. Each class will have at least one section in the mural. Older students would work on the larger pieces because of experience, patience, and skill. The overall theme should be carried through in each class. Plan in advance how to achieve the theme that has been decided. You can make copies of students’ hands, self-portraits, tiles with something written in alphabet noodles (they will burn out when the clay is fired), or houses in the neighborhood. One outdoor mural features ceramic leaves, birds of all kinds in trees, acorns, and nests. At another school, students included aids that disabled people use such as sunglasses and a white cane, part of a walker, and knee braces (these aids were partially cut so they wouldn’t stick out from the mural). Process 1. Following a discussion about the theme of the mural and who will be responsible for what, have students draw their small portion of the mural on newsprint. Later, this drawing may have to be made larger or smaller. 2. Arrange all patterns in your class on brown paper that is cut slightly smaller than the wooden base to allow space between the pieces for mastic. Most likely, not all drawings will be used, and some shapes may have to be redrawn larger or smaller.


When resizing is complete, direct each student to cut out his or her pattern. Some students might be selected to make something different such as letters. 3. If students are using patterns, demonstrate how to roll the clay to a thickness of approximately ½” and place the pattern on it. Use a knife to cut straight down. While the pattern is still in place, use a pencil to redraw the original design. This will transfer a light outline to the clay and will be useful when you are completing each section of the mural. 4. For decoration, show how to make very thin coils of clay to attach on top of some of the lines with slip and make stamped patterns with found objects. Students can print their names on the back in pencil. If they are not able to complete it in one period, they should wrap it in a damp paper towel and enclose it in plastic. Flat pieces dry from the edges inward, so keep the edges loosely wrapped with damp paper towels to avoid having edges curl up. Larger pieces should be placed on something to keep them flat, such as reusable tray or pieces of cardboard. When finished, cover lightly with plastic, allowing them to dry slowly. 5. After bisque firing, have your students choose a color scheme from options you present and glaze their piece. When it is finished, each piece will be attached to the plywood base by pushing it into freshly mixed mortar and wiping the surface clean.

Alternative Project This project could be done in glazed tiles similar to those of the Ishtar Gate. Each tile could be individually designed, or an overall design could be developed, with each student responsible for one tile. A suggested subject would be fantasy animals such as dragons, chimeras, griffins, unicorns, or minotaurs. Alternative Slab Building Projects House-box planters: Make a 6”–8” square ceramic house, complete except for the roof. To use this as a planter, put a circular hole in the bottom for drainage. Wall-hung planter: Make a wall-hung planter from two slabs. Put a hole in the flat piece that will hang against the wall. Crumple newspaper, placing it on top to support the pocket-like second slab (attached on three sides and left open at the top). Use stamping objects such as screws or a fork to give interesting texture. Simply wipe with shoe polish after firing. Slab sculpture: Many different projects can be created from the slab process, including quite large pieces of sculpture built from irregular slab shapes. A colleague, Libby Cravens, has her students make “people” by making a slab circle, then cutting out a wedge so the two sides can be joined, making a conical-shaped body. A ball for the head and coils for arms complete the form. Draped slabs over a form: Drape a thin slab over almost any form such as a plastic bowl. By elevating the bowl on a can, the ends of the clay can be allowed to hang down like a handkerchief until the form dries and will support itself.



Figure 8.6c  Outdoor Murals. Barretts Students, Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Mural project was done with under the direction of guest artist Pat Imming of Highland, Illinois in art teacher Debbie McConnell’s classes. Draped slabs inside a form: A V-shaped wedge can be removed from a slab draped over an inverted bowl. The edges would be scored and joined to make the clay “fit” the bowl. The same method of making tucks would allow you to fit a slab inside a bowl. Ceramic birdhouses: This is a good alternative project for grades 6–8. It is more challenging, since students will have to construct a base, walls, and a roof. While these can be very popular with the students, plan on about 6 weeks for completion. There are many styles of birdhouses easily available on the Internet.


Slab cups: Offer circle and rectangle templates that fit each other. Some tables could have wide circles and rectangles that are longer but not as tall, while others can have small circles and rectangles that are shorter in length and taller in height. Impress textures in the rectangle slab before attaching with scoring and slip to the base.

Figure 8.6d  Slab cup, Avery Baker, Grade 5. Robinson School, Kirkwood, Missouri.


Mexican Geckos Grades–3–8 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, space, form, pattern, balance, variety Vocabulary–wedge, score, slip, kiln, glaze

Materials/equipment–approximately 1–2 lb clay per student, kiln, underglazes, clear gloss glaze, plastic bags for storing work-in-progress, slip (thinned clay), small plastic bowls with lids for storing slip, pieces of scrap cardboard or ­Styrofoam trays (for working on and storing on until firing), plastic knife or pencils for scoring, loop or scoop ceramic tools, newsprint or cloth for wedging


232 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information The Mexican ceramics that we see today have been influenced by the Spaniards. This includes the style of the kilns, potters’ wheels, glazes, and specific forms. The native patterns, colors, and shapes show Arabic styles, and there are also some patterns and colors that may have come from China. The styles we see in Mexican ceramics are a blend of various cultures. In many cases, mass-produced decorative pieces have taken over in order for Mexican arts to survive. Some ceramic traditions flourishing today include the Talavera of Puebla, the Majolica of Guanajuato, the various wares of the Guadalajara area, and Barro negro of Oaxaca. Mexican culture is still very much known for its pottery. Preparation A note home to the parents about your upcoming project on Mexican geckos may prompt someone willing to share their own collections from travel. These pieces are also popular home décor and are available in many stores in the United States. “The real thing” is always the best teaching tool, especially for three-dimensional art. Ceramic geckos are easy to find on the Internet. Prepare a computer presentation, emphasizing not only the form of the geckos, but also the painted patterns they have as decoration. Mix slip for each table by mixing clay and water with your fingers until you achieve the consistency of cream. Cover with lids. Divide clay into approximately 1–2 lb portions for each student for the first day, then smaller portions for consecutive days. Place clay in a large plastic bag and mist with water as needed. Process 1. Demonstrate how to wedge the clay on a piece of fabric or newsprint for about 2 minutes. 2. The goal of the next steps is to form the head, body, and tail from one piece of clay. Use all of the 1–2 lb of clay to shape into a long sausage shape by rolling the clay between hands and/or on the table. Stop when the form is about 2”–3” wide. 3. Now show how to take one end of the form and continue to roll for a tail that will be longer and thinner, but not too thin to eventually curve without breaking. Students will be quick to roll the tail too thin. Emphasize a fatter tail at this point. 4. Show them how to pinch into the opposite end of the clay to pull the head form forward. Refer to visuals for the form of a gecko’s head. Transfer the form to a piece of cardboard or tray for stability. 5. Carefully flip the entire form over and demonstrate how to scoop some clay out of the underside of the “belly” using a loop or scoop tool. Try to leave the walls of the belly about ½” thick. Moisten any cracks with a fingertip dipped in water. 6. Using a new and smaller amount of clay, show how to divide the clay into four equal sections, one for each leg and foot. Keep all but the one you are working on in the plastic bag and wrapped in a damp paper towel. Small pieces of clay dry fast!


7. Again, suggest they refer to their visuals for the “L” shape of gecko legs. Roll out a coil about ½” wide and bend into the desired shape, moistening with water and smoothing any cracks. Form the feet from the end of each coil. 8. Demonstrate how to score, slip, and smooth the four legs onto the body. Curl the whole piece into position, so it is not laying straight. Turn the head to one side, curve the body and especially the tail. 9. After the bisque firing, discuss your visuals once more, emphasizing the patterns and colors typical of Mexican geckos. Show how to draw the patterns on the clay with pencil. Remind students to draw large enough to paint the designs with a paintbrush and glaze. Allow the clay color to show as the color. Keep the geckos on the trays or cardboard pieces to minimize breakage. 10. Glaze designs with underglazes. The geckos can be fired at this point to eliminate smearing of the underglazes. Alternatively, the clear gloss glaze can be applied on top of the underglazes using large, soft-bristled brushes.

Figure 8.7  Colorful hand-crafted ceramic geckos, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, Alamy stock photo.


Ceramic Storytellers Grades–5–8 Curriculum connections–social studies, language arts Time needed–4–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, color, form, pattern, balance, emphasis, variety, contrast Vocabulary–pueblo storytellers, ­wedging, greenware, underglaze, score, slip, three-dimensional, species

Materials and equipment–clay (the color of the clay will be the skin color of the storyteller), slip in contrasting colors or underglazes, pencils, modeling tools, pieces of muslin or newsprint, small plastic cups with lids for slip (one for each student), plastic bags to store each student’s work until completion, twist ties (optional)



Figure 8.8a  Storyteller with Twenty Figures, c. 1985, Helen Cordero, 1915–1994, American, Cochiti Pueblo, clay, 11 1/8” × 7 7/8” × 11”. Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Mrs. Gibson Fahnestock, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Background Information Pueblo storytellers are figures that usually have small forms of the same species clustered around them. While real storytellers were human, of course, mythical storytelling figures were sometimes animals. Although the eyes may be open or closed, the storyteller’s mouth is always open because he or she is talking. Authentic storytellers are collector items. Helen Cordero, a Cochiti Pueblo artist originated storyteller dolls in 1964. Preparation Prepare a slideshow of storytellers from the Internet. Decide if you want the storytellers to all be human or if some could be animal forms. If you choose the latter, find visuals for inspiration that include a variety of animals. Locate any storyteller posters and display in the room. Consider sending a note home with students ahead of time, asking if any parents happen to own a storyteller that they would not mind showing the class. The actual three-dimensional art is much more inspirational than a two-dimensional photo. Be sure to have the underglazes on hand that you will need: black, blue, green, pink, and white if you are not using white clay. If you choose to use colored slips, either order them ahead of time or make your own by mixing clay and water in a small bowl, breaking up the clay and stirring until it is the consistency of cream. Cover with a lid. You will need about three different colors of slip.


Divide the clay in advance for the students. The amount of clay they receive first should only be enough for the storyteller’s body (about the size of a large potato). Clay for the “babies” should be given when they are ready for that step. Process 1. Have each student mix their own slip in a small plastic bowl with a lid. Show them how to break up a small amount of the clay in water, until it is the consistency of cream. They should mark their name on the bowl and store this with their storyteller in progress. 2. Students should prepare their clay by wedging. Have the class stand and place the ball of clay on a piece of newsprint or fabric such as muslin. With one hand on top of the other, they should push the air bubbles out of the clay using a pushing and turning motion. They should not flatten the clay before each turn. Wedging should take 2–3 minutes. 3. Direct the students to divide their clay in half. Place one half in their plastic bag until they are ready for it, wrapping it with a damp paper towel. 4. They should make a pinch pot with the remaining clay. Demonstrate how to hold it in the palm of one hand and, with opposite thumb, push into the center for the opening, leaving about ½” for the bottom. Begin to push and turn the thumb to open the bottom of the pot first, then continue to rotate, opening the middle of the walls, going to the top rim last. It is important that the top rim be flat and about ½” thick. Circulate through the room checking that pots are not thicker than ½”. Using a knife, needle, or sharp pencil, score the top edge of both pots by drawing deep x’s into the clay. Next, have them apply slip thickly with their finger on the scoring and place the two halves together, thoroughly smoothing the seam until it does not show. 5. When you must stop between steps, have students wrap their clay in damp paper towels and place inside a closed plastic bag. 6. Pass out another potato-size amount of clay to each student for the head, arms, and legs. Have them save a small ball of clay for the head and wrap with a wet towel before putting in their bag. With the remaining clay, demonstrate how to make one coil of clay for the legs and one coil (not quite as thick) for the arms. Wrap these around the body and attach with scoring and slip as earlier. Smooth them onto the body, rolling a pencil where the two forms meet, so no seam or line shows. Show how to model arms at the ends of the coils. 7. With their reserved clay, have students form a ball of clay for the head and score/ slip both the head and the body to attach. Smooth the two forms together by rolling a pencil or thin tool at the place where they join. Anything thicker than ½” must have a hole in it to allow moisture to escape, or it may explode in the firing. Students should use a pencil to make a hole at the bottom of the pinch pot body. The hole in the head can be the open mouth.


236 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 8. The small figures (or babies) can be simply formed by making balls and coils. Advise making at least three and no more than eight “little ones.” Remind students that they must be the same species as the storyteller (baby bears with a large bear, etc.). Again, demonstrate how to attach the babies with scoring and slip. Store in the plastic bag, wrapped in a damp paper towel. 9. When the clay is leather hard, the class can begin painting designs or areas on the storytellers with either slip of contrasting colors or underglazes. Underglazes can be mixed with white slip to lighten the color to soft Southwestern colors. The black can probably be used straight from the bottle. These figures are never shiny, so they can be fired only once. Note: Greenware can be very fragile. You may decide to bisque fire before students apply colored slips or underglazes. (They will be stronger after a firing.) However, if you do this, you will need to do a second firing. Curriculum Connection

Language Arts Instruct students to write a story for their figure. This can be an original story or a retelling of an old story. They should name their storyteller, where the storyteller lives, and where he or she is sitting while telling the story. Have them write the story from the viewpoint of the storyteller—for example, “the old turtle said. . .” The stories can be displayed with the figures; so, after it is printed, mount the stories on cards.

Figure 8.8b  Storyteller doll, Whitefeather Studio, Tucson, Arizonam from the ­collection of Sue Hinkel.




y the time students are ready to create a three-dimensional (3D) form, most already have had experience in drawing and painting. As they quickly learn when working with 3D materials, sometimes the material dictates the end result. Students should always make a drawing of a 3D project before producing the final sculpture. To give all students a chance to explore all media, some teachers alternate 2D and 3D projects. The 3D experience is especially important in the upper elementary and middle schools. And when the work is done, get it out for people to see—the tops of shelves in a library is always a good spot. You also can suspend 3D work from strings or hooks attached to ceiling grids in your art studio. It greatly enlivens the environment and makes it an exciting place to be.




As You Like It (Box Sculpture and Found Objects) Grades–3–8 Curriculum connections–language arts Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–form, repetition, texture, contrast, emphasis

Materials and equipment–boxes (not too large), small saws, scissors, glue guns, Elmer’s Paper Mâché Art Paste, fabric, tempera paint, markers, plastic, bubble wrap

Vocabulary–assemblage, score

Background Information These student sculptures were created in the TAB/choice-based art studios of art teachers Julie Glossenger and Darcey Kent (who teach in separate schools in the Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri). Students have the option to select any material they wish to use. But first they must make a drawing and a plan for finishing their sculpture. One can recognize work that is done in a TAB art studio because, after completing the artwork, students are expected to write about their experience (note samples of student reflections in the preceding figures). Preparation Students will be cutting holes into the boxes, and reshaping and combining some of them. They may bring boxes from home or select from accumulated classroom supplies. They should be thinking about the shapes of their objects and things that are of real interest to them. Students who are in choice-based art classes understand that any WOW project requires a plan and a design. Process 1. Students should consider what they intend to make, find materials they plan to use, and have it approved by the teacher. Suggest they collect the materials they need and make a working plan about how they will begin. 2. Although choice-based art encourages the student to select materials and solve problems, just as professional artists would, the teacher should be available to assist when needed. 3. Sometimes a “shoulder-to-shoulder” talk with another student who is working in the same studio center can also be of assistance. 4. When the project is complete, the student is expected to write about the experience, answering these questions. ••What inspired you to make this object? ••What materials did you use?


Figure 9.1a  Unicorn, Kale Kennedy, Owen Keaton, Sam Dimmic, Grade 5, Fairway Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Darcey Kemp. Three ­students worked together to construct this large sculpture. The title Unicorn refers to its horn. I checked with the teacher but was unable to get the artists’ statement on this collaborative effort.

Figure 9.1b  Cardboard Truck, Landon Niven, Grade 2, Chesterfield Elementary School, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Julie Glossenger. “I made a army truck. The material I used carbord, tape, markers. Why I made it because my dad has a gray truck and I kinda want to go to the army. I leard you can make a cool thing only using a few materials.”

Figure 9.1c  Tents, Ridhima Kumar, Grade 3, Chesterfield Elementary School, ­Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Julie Glossenger. “I made a structure of tents. I use fabric, thread, a needle, popsicle sticks, hot glue, wire, bottle caps, cotton stuffing and gems. I made it because I really like a artwork that my friend made so I wanted to make something similar. I learned that artwork takes a very long time to make, and you need to be patient while making artwork.”




Geometric Units Grades–4-8 Curriculum connection–math Time needed–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–form, ­contrast, emphasis

Materials–cardstock or tag board in bright colors; rulers; scissors; white glue, tacky glue, or a glue gun; straight pins; plastic bags to store each student’s units

Vocabulary–units, scoring, geometric, unique, tab

Background Information This is a true interdisciplinary lesson, yet it challenges the students to go beyond simply making 3D geometric forms. They must use their imaginations to transform geometric units into sculpture by attaching a grouping of identical units into a single sculpture. Preparation Demonstrate how to measure, score, and glue the sides of the geometric forms. Although colored tag board is recommended, colored file folders have the same general weight, and are easily cut and painted later. As you introduce this project, challenge students to do something unique. Even though all students will make several geometric units, encourage them to look around their homes for something that can be added to make the finished sculpture appear unique. Glue guns could be used to fasten the units together. The sculptures could be freestanding or hang from the ceiling. It will take a while for students to complete the five units (minimum) needed for the sculpture. Suggest that, as they work, they consider some of the things that could be added to the sculpture that might make it quirky, such as a tiny doll, a miniature car, plastic fruit, playing cards, straws, cotton swabs, workbench items such as washers or screws, oversized dice, and even baby teeth. Process Although these are geometric forms, the entire sculpture can be made interesting by using colored tag board or by adding patterned cut-outs on only a few forms. Although each geometric 3D form is actually an individual sculpture, they will be more interesting to look at when several of these forms are combined to create one sculpture




1 1/2”





Copyright © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


1” 1” 3 1/4”




1” 1”



















Figure 9.2 

1. If students will be working with colored tag board, they may use a single color or variations in their units. It is recommended that they simplify the structure by using only one form such as a cube, a pyramid, or a cylinder. See the handout titled “Geometric Units.” 2. Instruct students to do their drawing on the underside of the cardboard, so that pencil marks will be hidden inside the form. Remind them to draw a tab on each side for gluing. If they forget and cut off a tab, they can cut a piece of cardboard to glue on the inside of the two surfaces.


242 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 3. To make tabs fold inward easily, pull the point of a pair of scissors along a ruler held in place on the inside of the fold. This is called scoring and will make the cardboard fold inward easily. Have the students glue each unit together as they are cut out, then store them in a plastic bag until they have at least five. 4. When the units are completed, ask students to consider the different ways they can be glued together that will make them interesting. They may have to use pins to hold two pieces together until the glue dries. Remind them that they might bring small “found objects” from home that can be combined within the body of the sculpture to make it one-of-a-kind. Adaptations for Younger Students Glued toothpick geometric shapes. Have students glue toothpicks flat to one 6” × 8” piece of tag board to make a square, rectangle, triangle, or polygon. Show them how they can combine shapes to make pine trees (triangles and rectangles), a house (squares and triangles), or fish (diamonds). These are effective when colored with marker or with marker lines drawn on the tag board on either side of the toothpicks. Geometric shapes. Have the students use construction paper to cut out flat geometric shapes in various colors, then make a collage of them on a 9” × 12” piece of black paper. Challenge students to cut out one thing from wrapping paper or a card to hide somewhere within the geometric shapes to make it unique. Alternative Project

Group Sculpture of Geometric Shapes If time is a problem, this would be an ideal group project. Each group of students could make a specific geometric figure (such as square boxes) to combine in a group sculpture, or they could unify different geometric forms by using one color only.


Bas-Relief Grades–4–8 Time needed–5–6 class periods Elements and principles–form, variety, pattern Vocabulary–phase, period, background, tab, layers, evolve

Materials–two 22” × 28” pieces of two-ply white poster board per student, patterned paper, glue, markers, stapler


Figure 9.3  The Prophet, 1990, Frank Stella, 1936, American, bas-relief, mixed media on aluminum, 161 ½” × 109 ¾" × 68”, Artists Rights Society New York, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. G ­ reenberg, the Enid and Crosby ­Kemper Foundation, and the R. C. Kemper ­Charitable Trust, photo by E.G. Schempf, Kemper Museum of ­Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Background Information Artist Frank Stella’s work has evolved from painting to sculpture and is instantly recognizable. At a younger age, his specialty was large all-black paintings. After that phase, he painted traditional square canvases, and sometimes shaped, rounded canvases, often using multicolored stripes. These paintings were often very colorful, and very controlled—not one drop of paint that wasn’t perfectly, neatly, applied. His later work is so wild, and so different from the controlled stripes he did when he was young, that it is difficult to believe it is the same artist. Now he transforms pieces of metal and scraps that are cut or bent to fit on a flat background that will hang on a wall and stick out so far from the wall that you feel like you need to keep your distance to keep from getting injured. These huge part-sculpture, part-paintings, termed bas-reliefs (French for low-reliefs), are created with the help of assistants. His latest bas-relief sculptures could serve as inspiration for students to interpret, on a smaller scale. Students are given two rectangles of poster board, one of which they may cut into unusual curved or geometric shapes—(call this board one). This poster board should be painted with graffiti-like marker designs and controlled scribbles before they are cut up and attached to a background—(call the background board two).


244 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Preparation Introduce students to graffiti by asking if they have ever seen train boxcars go by, or walls that have names and decorations painted on them with spray paint by people who just like to see their names used in public places. These controlled scribbles (often initials) are considered unsightly by many people and as vandalism by others. In this case, you are asking students to make a bas-relief sculpture by decorating board one with graffiti and cutting it up to glue onto board two, the background. The background will be tacked to a wall as a base, and the rest of the tag board will be covered with graffiti-like designs before it is cut into pieces and glued. It may be necessary to staple some shapes in place to hold them. Although sometimes it is best not to bring in your experiment as a sample of what students should do, you still should try to do this on a small scale before introducing it to the class. You can make a slideshow for them to see how Frank Stella’s work has evolved through the years. Challenge students to think “outside the box” when creating their sculpture. Be sure to discuss how to show a social conscience with words chosen for the project and to use only appropriate graffiti for display in a school. This would be an appropriate project in which to develop a rubric that gives credit for unusual ideas. Process 1. Begin this process by asking students to think about board one as a wall on which to write graffiti, but to remember that later they will cut the “wall” into large pieces to glue onto a smaller background (board two). They could begin with a big, long, curved marker stroke that goes almost all the way from one edge or corner of the page to the other. The sculpture can be vertical or horizontal, and the background may be trimmed with scissors before it is ready to hang. 2. A second line could be made about 3” or more from the first line, to give (after it is cut) one large curved strip of paper to glue onto board one (the part that will go next to a wall to support the bas-relief). The remainder of the poster board will also be decorated with both straight and curved shapes, keeping some pieces large and some to fit in or attach later. The gluing will be done after board one has been completely decorated and cut into large and small pieces. Students may glue patterned paper onto some of the cut-outs, or make their own patterns (spirals, checkerboard, or written verse). 3. Before gluing, show the students how to make a 1” tab at each end of the piece they will glue down. A tab is a 1” end of each piece that will be glued to the background. They will not glue these pieces flat onto the background but will cause them to be curved above the surface, making several layers. The background portion of the poster board may be any shape, and if more pieces are needed for the front, extra pieces might be cut from the edges of board two.


4. Suggest to students that, if they find they do not have enough “cut” and decorated tag board material to fill in the background, they might choose to add something else for texture such as pieces of cloth, yarn, or cut pieces of plastic. Students certainly can cut holes in solid pieces of decorated tag board or use a hole punch and resultant circles to decorate the sides of one piece. Adaptations for Younger Students On a 10” × 12” piece of paper, students can design a park with cut out playground equipment such as a slide and or other play equipment.


Tiny Maquette for a Gigantic Sculpture Grades–2–4 Time needed–1–2 class periods

Materials–colored modeling oil clay (¼–½ lb); small, self-sealing plastic bag; pencil

Elements and principles–form, texture, balance, variety Vocabulary–maquette, monumental ­sculpture, wedge, bronze, air raids, abstract, realistic, matte, pedestal

Background Information Henry Moore (1898–1986) was considered the most important British sculptor of the twentieth century. During World War II, he was paid by the British government to do drawings of London residents as they were lying down or sleeping on underground subway platforms during air raids. Many of his sculptures also have “figures” that are lying down. He particularly specialized in mother-and-child figures or family groups. His other sculptures are based on simple forms such as stones or bones. He would join two pieces together with plaster, in preparation for them to be enlarged and cast in bronze. After he had completed his maquettes (small sculptures), he had assistants help him with the work of using these models for greatly enlarged sculptures. Museums all over the world feature artwork by Henry Moore. His sculptures often have holes that encourage the viewer to look through them. Sometimes the sculptures are quite smooth, but other times he deliberately leaves rough areas or scratched textures into the surface.



Figure 9.4  Horse’s Head, Henry Moore, 1898–1986, English, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Preparation This project can be done with colored, oil-based modeling clay; self-hardening clay; or kiln-fired clay. The process discussed here is relevant to oil-based modeling clay. Students could soften oil clay in their hands (a process of about 10 minutes) while you tell them about Moore or show pictures of some of his work. If they are using clay that will be fired, it must be wedged to get out air bubbles, then covered in plastic when it is not being worked on, or it will dry out too quickly. If using ordinary clay, refer to Chapter 8 for specific information.


Process 1. Ask students to think about whether to create something realistic (such as a human figure or a sleeping kitten), or an abstract form that might be something found in nature (such as an animal bone, rock, or shell). If they want something totally unrealistic, suggest they do a drawing first. 2. It is almost impossible to paint modeling clay, which is oily, so students should consider how to finish the surface. Their sculpture might feature an edge that is quite sharp (a plane), or a center of interest such as a hole that goes all the way through the form. Sculpture often has a combination of very smooth areas that contrast with a textured area. 3. After it is ready to display, suggest they look at it from all sides to see if the form is interesting from every direction. Ask students to place their sculpture on a base such as a small pedestal (square of wood) or something like a coaster made of cork or wood (available from art vendors) or a piece of cloth. 4. Students can take the time to write an artist’s statement that responds to one or more of these questions: ••What were your materials? ••What were you thinking of when you made this particular shape? ••What was your inspiration?


Patriotic Masks Grades–2–5 Curriculum content–science, social studies Time needed–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–form, emphasis, texture, pattern, color

Materials–child-size plastic mask form with flange, plaster gauze, yarn, cardboard, scissors, masking tape, acrylic or tempera paint, brushes, Elmer’s Art Paste, gallon jugs, paper flags or copy paper Internet printouts of flags from various countries (as needed)

Vocabulary–abstract, realistic, casting, plaster, planes, chemical reaction, patriotism

Background Information Masks continue to be used in many cultures around the world in reenactments or ceremonies, or, in some countries, to celebrate a holiday, such as Halloween or Mardi Gras. Masks are favorite projects with students and teachers alike (although ­perhaps for different reasons), because they are usually slightly messy and give a satisfying result.



Figure 9.5  Flag images USA, Canada, Mexico, and United Kingdom. Many variations available on the Internet.

This assignment is to use the colors of a flag, or a national symbol, to paint onto the finished mask. If they wish, they may use the American flag and its red, white, and blue colors. Most students know the flag of the country from which their ancestors come and are free to research the flag of that country, using its design and color to paint their own mask. Many flags have beautiful stripes and a symbol such as a star or sun. Preparation Child-size plastic mask forms with a ¾” flange around the outside are available from art suppliers and are reused year after year by art teachers. Many teachers prefer to use these forms, with students cutting plaster gauze into pieces that are dipped in warm water and applied to the form. Another option is to use papier-mâché, covering the mask with small pieces of torn paper dipped in Elmer’s Art Paste. Before adding the gauze or paper, students have the option to embellish the face-form by


attaching cardboard or plastic shapes with tape to the edges. For example, if a student wants to make a Statue of Liberty, or another national symbol, sturdy cardboard cone shapes could be taped on the edge of the plastic form. To add stability to an addition such as this, it should have gauze applied underneath and on the front of the cardboard to strengthen it. To provide purpose to a mask project and for the masks to be compatible when displayed together, you and the class should discuss a theme based on patriotism. Even though this project is most likely to be made in the USA, all countries proudly display their national flag, and students should be encouraged to use the colors and design of any flag that is meaningful to them. When these perfectly white (or brown) masks have dried, students should use acrylic paint to reproduce some aspect of the flag they have selected. The patriotic flag theme can relate to the flag of any country. This process takes several class periods for best results, and students should be considering from the beginning how they will decorate their masks. Tell them that this mask project is for them to make a mask that will just be a plain face when it is removed from the form. Each mask will be different from others made in the class by how they choose to finish it. Process 1. Have students put a piece of tape on the underside of the plastic form with their name. Discuss with students that this project is to make patriotic masks. In the USA, with people’s ancestors having come from various parts of the world, patriotism might be about the USA or your student’s relative’s country. 2. The mask itself could be finished in some way—by adding hair made of yarn or thin twisted strips of gauze, with a cardboard top added. These additions need to be planned in advance, as cardboard will not stick to the mask once the wet paper or plaster gauze is added. 3. Students should apply enough pieces of plaster gauze to the mask to completely cover it. They then add another two coats of plaster gauze, making sure to evenly apply three layers (especially important at the outer edges) to give it strength. The masks take several days to dry. 4. When students are ready to paint, have them remove the plastic form from the inside. They will have had enough time to consider how to paint or add pictures to it. Some will decide to use only tempera to paint at least part of the area. They can divide the face into halves or fourths, putting a different pattern or color from the flag on several portions. They may even find small flags or words that can be glued onto the face. Students can write about the flag they chose as inspiration for the design they made on their mask, and why they chose it. Some students may not know the history of that flag, nor the symbolism that is on it.




Measure and Make It Huge! Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–math Time needed–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–texture, form and balance

Materials and equipment–copy paper, pencil, ruler, yardstick, corrugated cardboard, masking tape, newspaper or kraft paper or paper grocery bags, heavy-duty scissors, Elmer’s Paper Mâché Art Paste, gallon milk jugs, funnel

Vocabulary–dimension, model, scale

Figure 9.6a  Badminton Shuttlecocks (two of four), 1992, Claes Oldenburg, 1929, American, and Coosje van Bruggen 1942–2009, Dutch-born American, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic, polyurethane enamel, 18’ × 15”, weight 5500 lb, ­purchase: acquired through the ­generosity of the Sosland Family, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Background Information Swedish-born American Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) is an artist whose imagination knows no bounds. He worked with his wife Coosje van Bruggen (1942–2009) to transform ordinary objects into sculptural artworks. In their early work as a Pop artists, they created sewn and stuffed soft sculpture—such as a hamburger, a soft drum set, or an oversized toilet. Their recent sculptures of painted weather-proof materials such as metal or heavy plastic are on museum grounds or buildings throughout the world, and often bring a smile to the viewer. Oldenburg’s inspiration was to make gigantic interpretations of ordinary things we find around us, such as the gigantic Spoonbridge and Cherry fountain in the middle of a pond at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minnesota. The Nelson Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, owns a set of four 18’-high badminton shuttlecocks scattered around the grounds.


An upside-down ice cream cone sits on top of a building in Cologne, Germany. Other huge, unlikely subjects include typewriter erasers, a huge clothespin, tools, a threeway household plug, and cowboy hats. Preparation Save all the cardboard boxes that come at the beginning of the year. Ask students to help you break them down into flat pieces to store until needed. Students will appreciate seeing screen shots of images of Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s artwork through the years. They will see that, in making huge papier mâché models, they are limited only by their imaginations. Challenge them to find an ordinary item around the house (or in the art room) and make it six times larger than its actual size. If it is a functional item such as a toothbrush or a box of dental floss, or a tool such as pliers, suggest that extra credit might be given if some portion of the sculpture can move. Ask students to find or imagine that they are capable of enlarging almost anything to a ridiculously large scale. Actually, you don’t have as much room to work as Oldenburg and van Bruggen, but your expectation is that they will use a ruler to measure the exact dimensions of the item they plan to enlarge, and make it exactly six times larger. Have large amounts of cardboard on hand for students to use as a base. Mix Elmer’s Paper Mâché Art Paste in a gallon jug for each class. This paste can be mixed in advance and keeps for months without refrigeration. If you have a wide-mouthed container for each table, students can share paste as they work on their sculpture. Process 1. Challenge students to write a list of at least 10 ordinary things that they see or use almost every day. It may be something they play with, or something they have seen on a workbench or kitchen counter. When their list is made, ask them to draw one or two of these that they could envision as an interesting piece of sculpture. It might have moving parts (extra points if something moves), or simply be fun to look at. Because they are going to enlarge their model for the sculpture to six times its actual size, they should bring their actual inspiration to school the next class day to measure so that their drawing and the enlarged finished sculpture will be absolutely accurate. 2. With a model in their hands, they must use a ruler to measure it in every dimension, recording these measurements on paper. These measurements should be multiplied by six to make their finished artwork huge. 3. Students may not find pieces of cardboard that are large enough, and perhaps will have to securely join two pieces with masking tape, making them stronger by covering the pieces with torn paper dipped in wallpaper paste to lend strength. They can cut the cardboard with big scissors or use a cutting knife under your direction. 4. Suggest to students that they tear scrap paper in advance. Demonstrate how to cover something with paper that is first dipped in paste, and excess paste removed by pulling the paper between the fingers. When the base is completed and sturdy,


252 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS students may cover the outsides with torn newspaper pieces (approximately 5” × 5”), torn kraft paper, or torn brown grocery bags. The sculpture will need to dry for several days before painting with acrylic or tempera paint. 5. Ask students to use large brushes to paint this item as realistically as they can. They may wish to write about this experience.

Figure 9.6b  Giant Scissors, Lara Kunz Bennett, these giant scissors were created by Lara Kunz Bennett when she was in the eighth grade at Shawnee Mission Middle School, and have had a place of honor in her parents’ home ever since. They are 72” long, six times larger than the scissors that she measured as her model.


Oaxacan Folk Art Animals Grades–4–8 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–emphasis, form, variety, movement, pattern, balance Vocabulary–papier mâché, Oaxaca, ­Mexico, haphazard

Materials–masking tape, kraft paper or brown paper grocery bags, tempera paint, large and small brushes, polymer medium, paper towels, aluminum foil (approximately 1 yard per student)

Figure 9.7a  Centipede, 2007, Vicente Vasquez, 5” × 20”, courtesy of the Salt of the Earth Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, private collection.


Figure 9.7b  Flamingo, 2007, Vicente Vasquez, courtesy of the Salt of the Earth ­Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, private collection.

Figure 9.7c  Rooster, 2007, Vicente Vasquez, courtesy of the Salt of the Earth Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, private collection.

Background Information Oaxaca (pronounced Wah-HAH-kah) is a state in Mexico that has become famous for its carved and painted folk art figures and masks. The ancient traditions have become popular again in the last few years as Oaxacan painted wood carvings have


254 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS been recognized as unique. Subjects vary, and include peasants, mermaids, angels, animal-musicians, reptiles, and nativity scenes. The subjects are usually charming and humorous, because of their colors and patterns, and owing to the “attitude” with which they look at the World. Preparation Try this project yourself before you begin to teach it to the students. If you can demonstrate how to form the legs, head, and torso, it will be easier to persuade students how—with simple changes—they can give “movement” to their creatures. Many great Oaxacan images are available on the Internet for you to show the students before beginning the project. The book Oaxacan Woodcarving, The Magic in the Trees by Shepard Barbash has wonderful illustrations. Because students are making a piece of folk art, it will be relatively small and delicate. These directions are for creating a domestic animal such as a dog, burro, cat, or pig. Have them decide on the kind of animal they will make and think about an “attitude.” Instead of having the animal just standing, they could make it with the legs spread apart for balance and the head down to the ground as if it were grazing. Or the head, neck, and torso could be tilted or twisted to one side (still making sure it remains balanced).

Figure 9.7d  Drawings for Oaxaca papier mâché animals.

Process 1. Students should make a drawing of their animal before beginning to construct it. 2. Suggest students roll a paper towel into a tube shape for the torso and cover the paper towel with the smaller piece of aluminum foil (to give strength to the legs). For the head and body, use a piece that is approximately 15” × 12”. Fold under at one end for the head and a longish neck. Insert a ball in the end of the foil to resemble the head. Place the foil-covered legs underneath, then fold the piece under to enclose the legs and be taped at the neck. 3. Show students how to loosely add one more piece of foil around the middle to thicken the torso of the figure. This will give a sculpture about 5” × 7” in size. Use string, hair, or foil to form a tail and tape it onto the torso. Mexican Oaxacan carvers sometimes added braided tails or manes of hair (if you have a source for real horsehair, it is a nice addition). Demonstrate how to form ears and other details from foil or cardboard. Before students begin to cover the foil with papier mâché, ask them to make sure the animal will stand by itself.


4. Show students how to tear the brown paper into small pieces (approximately 1½”). They must have a generous pile of paper torn before they begin dipping each piece of paper into the paste, removing excess paste between their fingers, and applying it smoothly. They should cover the form completely with two or three layers of this paper to give it strength (especially the legs). Allow it to dry a few days. The animal will be painted with a base coat of tempera or acrylic on which they will paint repetitive designs and combinations of designs—such as stripes, flowers with petals, or small white dots (applied with a toothpick or the flat end of a brush). The form of the animal tells us what it is, so realistic colors aren’t necessary. Adaptations for Younger Students Papier mâché snakes. Marla Mayer of Highcroft Ridge Elementary School in St. Louis County, Missouri, had her first graders make papier mâché snakes simply by twisting and taping newspaper for the bodies. These were then covered with brown paper. Some were coiled and ready to strike, while others simply had interesting slithering bodies. The patterns were painted with acrylic paint and dots added with a longhandled swab.


Everyone Is an Architect Grades–5–8 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–form, texture, line, pattern, balance, variety

Materials–tag board, rulers, alphabet noodles, gravel, scissors, sandpaper, brushes, toothpicks, tempera paint, craft sticks, corrugated cardboard, gesso

Vocabulary–structure, adobe, enhance, dormers, stone, brick, shingles, shutters, exterior pattern, plot of land

Background Information Your students will need the same information that architects must have as they design their buildings. They need to decide what the purpose of the building is, how large it will be, and what the materials are. The models they make will all start with approximately the same-size basic tag board box, but their building’s purpose will determine how it will be built. Ask students what the exterior of the building material is in the area where they live. It might be aluminum or vinyl siding, but it could also be brick, stone, adobe, or shingles. Show students some “typical” architectural styles from other countries, such as half-timbered houses in England or thatched-roof


256 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS homes in Denmark. Discuss other structures one might find in a town—such as a hardware store, restaurant, or church. Preparation This project will take several periods. It is useful to have photocopies of various structures available for students to see. Create an architectural file of small black-and-white photocopies of buildings. Mount them on index cards or construction paper and laminate them to keep them from year to year. Discuss scale with the students in order to have buildings of approximately the same size. Make a plain sample tagboard box and roof to show students where they will begin. Discuss with the students that this project is to design and construct a building. Limit the footprints of the buildings to allow room to display them. They should consider what and where their building is going to be. If it is to be in the country, it might look entirely different than if it were in a city. The climate (wind, snow, scarce water), trees, and location (urban or country) all help to determine how the building will be made. Because this is the exterior only, consider how it will look from the outside. How many windows are there? Doors? Will there be a front porch, dormer windows in the second story, shingles on the roof? Talk to them about how they could enhance their building before painting by adding shingles cut from tag board, windows with small panes, and porches. The roof might be the most interesting part of the building. The buildings should be on a very small area of land, which may be landscaped with twigs. Process 1. Students should do a rough drawing of ideas, and then, when they have decided whether this is a house or business, suggest they carefully measure and cut the tag board that will be used for the basic house. The two ends may be taller and come to a point to support a peaked roof. They can put two two-story box-houses side by side or make a one-story ranch house with a front porch going all the way across. 2. The roof will be a simple peaked roof, with a chimney attached to the top or going up one side of the house. They may choose to finish the roof with individually cut pieces (shingles) of tag board. To apply shingles horizontally, they would begin at the bottom, carefully overlapping and working toward the peak. To make them resemble European-style shingles, they might be cut round on the bottom. 3. Show students how to use a ruler to measure, carefully spacing and drawing windows and doors. Windows can be emphasized by outlining with tag board strips. The exterior can be finished in a variety of ways. Long strips of tag board can be overlapped to look like siding (start at the bottom and work up), or a surface of small shingles, such as those used for the roof, can be used for the exterior in the same manner.


Curriculum Connections Language Arts Design a Dream Home Challenge your students to think about what they would like their dream home to be like. What are their favorite colors? What is their favorite room in a house? Where might the house be located? How big a family would they hope to accommodate? This dream home could be a modern home or an old building in the country. Writing in advance of actually designing the home may help them to make it personal. Or, when the process is finished, have them write about changes they made as they went along, and how different it looks from their original idea.

Figure 9.8  Tag board house models, 2006. Fifth, sixth, and seventh grade, art teacher Jan Cutlan, Parkway Northeast Middle School, St. Louis County, Missouri. Tag board, ranging in size from a minimum of 4” × 6” with variations.


258 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Social Studies Historic Village Students can construct similar houses to produce historical, cultural, or regional architecture, such as the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century row houses of many American cities, a town of the Old West, an American-Indian village, a prehistoric village, an African village, a small German town, an English town such as Stratford-upon-Avon, or a Greek Acropolis. Cereal boxes are approximately the ­ shape of stores in a small town, and could be covered or painted first with gesso and decorated to look like the center of a small town.


Scrap-Wood Assemblage Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–pattern, ­repetition, variety, color, rhythm, emphasis, balance, form

Materials–scrap wood (all sizes and shapes), nails or screws (to put pieces into a base for stability), sandpaper, white glue, masking tape, hand saws, drill


Background Information Scrap-wood assemblage has great potential for imaginative sculpture. Students accept that things don’t have to be perfect and colors don’t have to be real. Although these can simply be abstract assemblages, middle school students react better to having a general theme such as living creatures (people or animals), houses, or cars. A theme will help unify the display and narrow the focus to have an overall idea before beginning. Many of the sculptures are better when they are painted in the Oaxacan manner (lots of pattern, unrealistic colors), but sometimes students prefer not to use the overall pattern. Preparation Get scrap wood! Get it from shop classes or from parents or neighborhood friends who have home workshops, buy scraps by the box from a lumberyard, obtain leftovers from a factory, or go to recycle shops. If you want it, you will find it! Encourage shop teachers in your district to ask older students to cut scrap wood into smaller, interesting shapes. The less cutting you and the students do, the easier this will be.


Figure 9.9  Saint Louis Cardinal Fan, David Packard, created in Grade 5, wood assemblage, painted, approximately 12” × 5” × 2½”. Reed School, Ladue School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. Art teacher Linda Packard.

You may need to use electric drills for screw holes or electric keyhole saws but limit the use of electrical tools to yourself or another adult. Depending on the size of the pieces, some may have to be nailed together rather than glued, but avoid this when possible. Process Students should be especially encouraged to use their imaginations in this project. If they can imagine it, chances are they can build it. They need to remember that it must balance and stand by itself or be attached to a base. 1. Let students fish through various scraps of wood until they find pieces that “look like something” to them. If it is necessary to cut it or change its shape slightly, they can use a saw under the supervision of the teacher. Once they have an idea, have them make a small working sketch. 2. Show them how to apply glue to two pieces, holding them tightly together (sometimes tape will work, or they can prop the glued pieces against something until the glue sets). Sometimes they may have to assemble the sculpture in sections, then glue the sections together to make the entire sculpture.


260 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 3. They should test the piece for stability. If it does not stand by itself, they may need to attach it to a base. This may involve drilling a hole in the bottom of the base and in the bottom of the sculpture, then putting a screw through both pieces. (The screw should be recessed into the base to avoid making the piece wobble.) 4. When the students are satisfied that their sculpture is balanced, it can be finished with acrylic paint. This is where to encourage them to really use their imaginations. In general, a viewer will know what the sculpture is by its form. If it looks like an elephant, it doesn’t have to be painted gray. Instead, if they wish, designs such as dots, stripes, zigzags, or a combination of patterns can be painted. Adaptation for Younger Students

Leprechaun Playgrounds Younger students could build with precut wood scraps to create a playground for a leprechaun. Remind students that leprechauns are tiny and love to play. Collect shoeboxes in advance and have students paint the entire box and lid with one bright color to use as a base for the playground. Cut a three-sided trapdoor in the lid of each shoebox with an X-ACTO knife. Explain that their job is to build a playground out of the precut wood scraps, which would lure the leprechaun to fall into the trapdoor. Therefore, the “best part” (or emphasis) of the playground needs to be built close to the trap. Paint the wood pieces in bright colors to have the look of a playground. Be sure to have the boxes out on display for St. Patrick’s Day. You (the teacher–­leprechaun) could slip little pieces of torn green felt or gold glitter on each to show evidence that the leprechauns visited their playgrounds!


Computer Graphics and Digital Photography


lthough teaching computer skills is not a substitute for helping students enjoy the use of charcoal, paint, crayons, and clay, it introduces them to the lifelong use of a new medium. Most museums and artists make their collections available to viewers on the Internet. Familiarizing students with how to use the computer responsibly as a resource is now an integral part of teaching art. It is good to study other artists for knowledge and inspiration. But if students need to work directly from a photo to produce their artwork, they must work from free stock photos online and never from another artist’s work. The one thing we know for certain about technology is that it is constantly changing and improving. Rather than giving specifics about using particular graphics programs or cameras, this chapter is intended to give ideas for using these tools to produce art. The teaching of a digital art lesson follows lesson design as in any other medium, with motivation, input, resources, practice, and evaluation.

Figure 10.1  Four Navajo Rug Designs, elementary students, Mason Ridge School, Town and Country, Missouri, Parkway School District, using a basic computer drawing program and copy/paste for symmetry.



Computer Graphics Art Lessons Students are usually very excited to work with computer graphics. The computer is an essential part of their lives in every subject area, and therefore they learn quickly and instinctively with this media. Some art teachers use computer lessons as a reward for good behavior! Graphics components in most applications include line, shape, color, value, pattern, and space—the elements of design! The tool palette mimics the pencil, paintbrush, spray paint, etc. Computer availability varies widely from one school district to the next. Some teachers arrange to take their classes to the school computer lab while others have rolling carts of computers to reserve and bring into the art room. Still other districts have issued individual computers to each student. These are usually stored in their classroom and can be brought to the art room. Know that whatever exposure you can offer your students will be well received. Make sure your district has a license for use of the program you will be using—or use a free alternative. There are good-quality free programs available for both elementary and middle school art students. Spend some time investigating what is available with an Internet search of photo-editing websites, which allow the students to gain a basic understanding of the use of layers. This is knowledge they can build upon at the secondary level with more advanced programs such as Adobe Photoshop. As of 2020, programs which are free to use include Sketchpad 4.0 as well as Sketchpad 5.1. Sketchpad is a great addition to any Google Classroom lesson. If you work with a school or nonprofit education center, you can acquire a free license to use Sketch Pad with your students. On both versions, Stroke/Fill is available on all brushes. Vector Fill replaces Flood fill for crisper edges. Also included is Linear gradient editor and Radial gradient editor. Sketchpad 5.1 allows the artist to import and sketch on PNG, JPEG, GIF, and PDFs. If your class will be working with photographs, other programs available to use at this time are PIXLR EDITOR and PIXLR PRO. PIXLR allows students to work in layers, replace colors, and transform objects. It is similar to Photoshop in many ways, including effects and filters used to enhance photographs. As with Sketchpad, it is free to use. Try your lesson ahead of time to familiarize yourself with how each tool works. At the elementary level, it may be impossible to teach students how to save their work into their personal school account. Directions can be given, and if they are able to follow, think of it as a bonus! Providing them with the experience of a computer graphics lesson is an important learning experience, even if it is not saved. For older students, demonstrate how to save work and file-share with the teacher. Also show the use of tools necessary for the assignment. Post or project simple instructions for the lesson, so that students can see directions easily when you are not immediately available. Also try to exhibit printed examples for motivation. If students are file-sharing with the teacher or saving projects in their personal student account, it will be possible to access the file for assessment purposes, without printing. Students who have a flash drive may choose to take the lesson home to continue work or print it.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

Printing availability in schools also varies widely and can be cost prohibitive. Many art teachers choose a few to print from each class for art exhibits, rather than allowing students to print at will. If a quality printer is not available in your school, consider taking the file to a camera store for printing. Consider posting directions (either on the computer’s desktop or a poster) with information on How to save into their student account, How to save to desktop, How to send to teacher, and How to place on a personal flash drive, so that students can learn how to do this without repeated oral directions.


Alphabet Soup Grades–3–8 Time needed–2–3 class periods

Materials and equipment–computer, appropriate application, printer, printing paper

Elements and principles of art–line, shape, color, space, pattern, balance, variety, movement, ­contrast, emphasis Vocabulary–typeface, font, italic, bold, upperand lowercase, rotate, flip, enlarge, overlapping, copy/paste, color scheme, center of interest. (See possible color schemes to introduce in preparation.)

Background Information Because even young students type words on the computer, this first project is based on letters using different fonts, font sizes, and colors. This is also an excellent lesson for teaching the elements and principles of design for all grade levels. Uppercase and lowercase letters are old printing terms from the days when printers set type by hand from cases where the type was stored. The capital letters were kept in the upper case, while the small letters were in the lower case. Modernists such as Charles Demuth (I Saw the Figure Five in Gold, 1928) and the pop artists of the 1950s and 1960s felt that the subject of an artwork was unimportant. Stuart Davis, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein combined words with shapes and color to make memorable compositions. Artist Barbara Kruger, who had been a magazine editor, became so fascinated with words that her artwork consists primarily of large lettering as commentary on modern life. Some of her titles are: Untitled: Use Only as Directed; Untitled: Buy Me, I’ll Change Your Life; and Untitled: Give Me All You’ve Got.


264 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Preparation Discuss the word font with students, explaining that it was a term primarily used by graphic designers in the past, but now is interchangeable with the words text tool or type tool. Talk about font size and define terms such as BOLD and italic. Discuss the color scheme you would like the students to use. This lesson can be done with several different color schemes, such as monochromatic, complementary, primary, secondary, warm, or cool colors. Perhaps each class could use a different color scheme, which would allow for a colorful teaching display! Process 1. Using a basic drawing program, demonstrate how to use the text tool and only one letter to create an interesting design. Show how to change color and size of text; copy/paste an identical letter; and rotate, flip, and overlap letters. Demonstrate special effects such as shadow, outlining, bold, and italic styles. Show how to use line, shape, color, space, pattern, balance, variety, movement, contrast, and emphasis, and stress the need for the composition to fill the page. 2. Allow one class period for student experimentation with the text tools, colors, and available effects. Have them try each of the functions of the text tool which were demonstrated. They should select one letter of the alphabet, such as their own initial. Encourage trials with text size, outlining, shadows, bold, or italic, as well as uppercase and lowercase letters. Include time for students to try flipping, rotating, copying, and overlapping text. 3. As they begin to work, give reminders about the center-of-interest. (It is seldom in the center.) This is the largest, darkest, or brightest area of the composition, and may be the first thing the viewer will see. Students could add texture or a special effect to one area to make it dominate. Sometimes in a composition that will hang on a wall, the larger areas may be nearer the bottom to keep it from looking as if it might topple over. 4. Emphasize repetition and variety. Suggest filling most of the page repeating font, size, color, or effect in more than one place for balance. 5. Students should look at their design carefully to check for enough white space and a dominant area. Have them check for the required color scheme. If the design does not fill the page, they should add more here and there until some part reaches out closer to each side. 6. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop. Alternative Project One-word composition. If students are intrigued with this project, suggest they use only one word to make a composition. The word could be sports- or action-related and could reflect a student’s favorite pastime (art, poetry, food, hanging out at the mall). A drawing could be created to illustrate that one word.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography


Kandinsky Inspired Design Grades–4–8 Time needed–3–4 class periods

Equipment/materials–computer, printer, appropriate application, Kandinsky visuals

Elements and principles of art–shape, color, line, space, pattern, balance, variety, contrast, emphasis, movement Vocabulary–non-objective, abstract, repetition, overlapping, copy/paste

Background Information Kandinsky was a prolific Russian-born artist. He had an important influence on abstract art. Although trained as a lawyer, he pursued his strong interest in art, and started by drawing in a realistic manner. He was influenced by the Impressionist artist Monet and became more and more interested in abstraction. He inspired many other artists of his time, such as Paul Klee. Show examples of Kandinsky’s work, and have a class discussion on the ways he keeps the viewer’s eye entertained in his compositions. Discuss the difference ­between his work and unplanned scribble-drawing. Preparation Try this first on the same software the students will use. Post examples of Kandinsky’s work as well as examples of the lesson that may serve as springboards for student ideas. Make a digital presentation of the abstract work of Kandinsky as well as the basic computer tools needed in the process: paintbrush, pencil, shapes, copying and pasting lines and shapes for repeat, color fill, and the use of separate layers for older students. Process 1. Give a presentation on several non-objective artists including Joan Miró, Helen Frankenthaler, and Wassily Kandinsky. Demonstrate ways to use the pencil, paintbrush, and shape tools for an abstract composition. Discuss the options available with each tool. Show copy/paste commands, as well as commands for flipping and rotating shapes. 2. Allow one class period for student experimentation with tools that have been demonstrated.


266 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 3. As they begin to work, give reminders that repetition makes a strong design. After drawing five or six lines and shapes, they should begin to copy and paste some or all of them into another area of the page. After they are copied, they could be enlarged or made smaller, flipped, or rotated differently than the original shapes. 4. Talk about how to make one area of the design the emphasis point. Brushstrokes might get wider or more interesting. The colors used to fill in shapes could get more intense. Overlapping could optimize contrast. Spacing between lines and shapes could change at the focal point. Perhaps some shapes could be filled with texture as well as color for emphasis. 5. When students are ready to select a color to put behind the shapes on the screen, remind them that the background needs to offer good contrast for the design. If lines and shapes are dark, white may be the best background color. Whereas if the design has many light colors, a darker background would offer better contrast. If they are working in layers, the background layer needs to be placed as the bottom layer. 6. Be sure to fill the page by coming close to all four sides at various points. 7. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop.

Figure 10.2  Blue, 1922, Vasily Kandinsky, 1866–1944, Russian, Color Lithograph, 12 11/16” × 10 7/8”. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography


M.C. Escher Digital Compositions Grades–6–8 Curriculum connection–math

Materials and equipment–computers, photo‑editing program, M.C. Escher visuals

Time needed–3–4 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, space, value, pattern, balance, variety, movement Vocabulary–architecture, perspective, symmetry, infinity, tessellation stock photo

Background Information M.C. Escher, a Dutch graphic artist, earned his place in art history especially for his tessellations and his drawings of impossible stairs and ramps within his architectural drawings. His drawings and prints were designed almost like puzzles with no beginning and no end, depicting the impossible. His art works have “Only those who attempt the absurd will a strong underlying mathematical achieve the impossible. I think it’s in my and geometric theme and are loved basement . . . let me go upstairs and check.” by artists and mathematicians alike. – M.C. Escher Preparation Instruct students on the proper use of websites on school and personal computers. Remind them that they will be directed to certain websites, and only those. Note: Students who stray to other websites should be warned that the consequences include losing computer privileges. Demonstrate how to find free stock photo websites and how to save a photo to the desktop of your computer. If possible, the photo could also be saved to the student’s personal school account. Show examples of types of photos that would work well for this lesson. Process Give a presentation of M.C. Escher’s work, using any available posters and images from the Internet. Look especially for examples of his tessellations and geometrical drawings of architectural impossibilities. Include his early works of insects and nature, which sometimes were included in his drawings of interiors. 1. Using examples of M.C. Escher’s depictions of stairs, note the repetition within the drawings, the feeling of infinity (no beginning and no end), and the perspective that changes in one part of the drawing to another. Draw attention to how this artist leads the eye through his composition.



Figure 10.3a  Relativity, 1953, M.C. Escher, 1898–1972, Dutch, lithograph, image 11” × 11 7/16”, Cornelius Van S. Roosevelt Collection, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. All M.C. Escher works © Cordon Art-Baarn-the Netherlands. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Figure 10.3b  Convex and Concave, 1955, M.C. Escher, 1898–1972, Dutch, lithograph, image 10.8” × 13.2”, Cornelius Van S. Roosevelt Collection, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. All M.C. Escher works © Cordon Art-Baarn-the Netherlands. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

2. Students should use their first class to search for free stock photo websites of interesting architectural images. M.C. Escher worked mostly in black and white, but a color photo could work as well. The photo should be completely filled with architecture, without surrounding sky and landscape. Have students save several potential photos as instructed. 3. Next, have them open a blank page in a photo-editing program and copy/paste one photo onto the page. They should work with just one photo per page. If other photos are found, they can try them out on separate pages. 4. After copying the photo onto the page, they can size it with the transform tool, then use the move tool to place it on the page. 5. Show students how to use the copy/paste commands, move an image, transform and free transform, and flip and rotate an image. Also begin to teach the basics of layers and how the copy/paste function creates separate layers for each copied image, allowing students to select one part of the design easily to move it, size it, or transform it repeatedly. 6. The transform or free transform tool can be used to turn and size the new copy and move to another spot on the page. Suggest placing one copied image right next to another until the page fills. A variety of sizes, ranging from very small to large, will elicit more interest. 7. Show how to find the layer for a specific part of the design, so it can be reworked or placed elsewhere. 8. Students can experiment with reducing the opacity of images on certain layers for another effect. 9. Review Escher’s work for more ideas along the way. Emphasize the importance of moving the viewer’s eye around the design to a point of emphasis. 10. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop. Curriculum Connection Math. Find as many examples of symmetry as possible in a chosen Escher print. Measure the angles (with a protractor) used in an Escher masterpiece and then in your own drawing as well. How many times does each of these angles repeat in the drawing? Assessment Consider evaluating the graphic images with a rubric assigning points to the following critical learning areas of this lesson: •• Cropping has been used to delete unnecessary background information or clutter. •• The photograph has good contrast, allowing the viewer to see the composition from a distance. •• Copy/paste function has been used for an infinity effect. The image has been manipulated in a variety of ways with size, rotation, etc.


270 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS •• Composition shows creative use of options for a variety of effects and appropriate use of filters. •• The design shows a good use of the elements and principles of design to create an interesting composition that leads the viewer’s eye to the point of emphasis. Rubrics There are many versions of rubrics to use as your grading system. This is merely one example. As you are teaching your lesson, consider posting the steps that are most important for students to see. Inform the class that things you are posting will be on their rubric. (No surprises!) As you assign points to each area, consider how important that particular concept was to the overall lesson. In this example, the student would self-assess in the student column when the work is complete. Then you will do your assessment. Warn the students ahead of time that your score will likely not match theirs, but if they have given it serious thought, the two scores will probably be close! M.C. Escher Digital Composition Rubric (Sample) Student / Teacher

_______ /_______

(0–15pts.) The photo selected shows an emphasis on architecture.

_______ /_______

(0–15pts.) Cropping has been used to delete unnecessary background information or clutter.

_______ / _______

(0–15pts.) The photograph has good contrast, allowing the viewer to see the composition from a distance.

_______ /_______

(0–20pts.) Copy/paste function has been used for an infinity effect. The image has been manipulated in a variety of ways with size, rotation, etc.

_______ / _______

(0–15pts.) The composition shows creative use of options for a variety of effects and the appropriate use of filters.

_______ / _______

(0–20pts.) The design shows a good use of the elements and principles of design to create an interesting composition that leads the viewer’s eye to the point of emphasis.

_______ / _______

TOTAL (0–100pts.)

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography


Navajo Rug or Blanket Designs Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies, language arts Time needed–3–4 class periods

Materials and equipment–computer, ­appropriate graphics program, printer, printing paper, colored background paper, optional: ­holepunch and yarn

Elements and principles of art–space, texture, line, color, shape, pattern, balance, contrast Vocabulary–Navajo, weaving, textile, symmetry, copy/paste

Background Information The Navajo are renowned for their textile designs. Beginning in the early 1800s, rugs and blankets were worn or used by the Navajo. For many years, all yarns were hand dyed. These earliest weavings are usually browns, blacks, grays, and whites. Other colors were difficult to find. When commercial dyes became available, more colors were used, especially reds, yellows, and greens. Today, their weavings are still usually done with earth colors. Designs that are most often seen in Navajo art works are lightning bolts (zigzags), diamonds, triangles, and stripes or long skinny rectangles. Another important feature of Navajo design is symmetry, both horizontal and vertical. Today, authentic Navajo weavings are respected as works of art and are very valuable. Preparation Show examples from the Internet of Navajo weaving and discuss the way the weavings have been done on floor looms with hand-dyed yarn. Discuss historical facts related to the weavings, as well as their importance in today’s art world. Post any available posters or prints from the Internet. Ask the class to identify types of colors and patterns and how many different colors and patterns they see in most of the designs. Have students identify the types of symmetry used. Try this lesson ahead of time on a basic computer drawing program, appropriate for the chosen grade level. Be ready to demonstrate the use of each tool needed in the lesson. Process 1. Students should take notes and sketch ideas that appeal to them during the digital presentation.


272 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 2. Have each student make a sketch on copy paper of a Navajo weaving design, using appropriate shapes, colors, and symmetry, both horizontally and vertically. Label where colors will repeat, remembering to achieve good contrast. 3. Demonstrate how to change the size of the art board to 8½” × 15”. Show how to make a separate layer for the background and send it behind the other layers. 4. Using the shape and paint bucket tools, they can begin to design the page so that it will be symmetrical, both horizontally and vertically. They should use the copy/ paste functions to repeat shapes identically side to side and top to bottom. It may be best to work from the center and move out to the edges. If spacing is off, show how to use the move tool to adjust so the design will repeat as needed to the edges of the paper. 5. Students should create a layer of one color and send it behind the design for background color. Point out that the background color should be in good contrast to the colors of the lines and shapes in the design. 6. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop. Optional—After prints are glued to a colored border (perhaps poster board), punch holes along the top and bottom sides about 1” apart. Make a loop of yarn through each of the holes to work as a fringe. Curriculum Connections Social studies/language arts. Research ways that Navajo weavings were originally used in everyday life. Write a short story of how your design would be used. Include the reasons why it was needed and served a purpose.

Figure 10.4  Late Classic Serape Blanket, c. 1865–1870. Navajo, Arizona, commercial threeply Germantown wool, 69” × 52”, purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, photography by Jamison Miller.

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Picasso Faces Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–3–5 class periods

Materials/equipment–computer, basic drawing program, printer, printing paper, copy paper, visuals of Picasso faces

Elements and principles of art–line, color, shape, balance, variety, contrast Vocabulary–Cubism, point of view, abstract, layers

Background Information Picasso, the famous Spanish-born artist, went through many phases in his artwork, ranging from realism to abstract. He is known for his blue period and his rose period, when he painted predominately with certain colors to project a mood. He is most famous for a style he developed with another well-known artist, George Braque, called Cubism. Many describe Cubism as appearing as though a painting was done on glass, then shattered and put back together with all parts arranged another way. His portraits often had a profile and frontal view of the face combined into one image. Preparation Try the lesson ahead of time and be ready to demonstrate each step on the program the students will use. Print your examples for students to see in the room. Prepare a digital presentation on Picasso’s artwork, emphasizing his portraits. Suggestions: Girl Before a Mirror, Portrait of Dora Maar, Portrait of Sabartes, Seated Woman 1938, Tête D’une Femme Lisant, and The Weeping Woman. Have students help identify where they see a profile view and a frontal view in the same painting. Ask questions: Do the two eyes match, or are they different? How many different colors are used? What parts appear abstract? Does the left side of the face match the right side of the face? Point out the black outlining often seen in Picasso’s work. Process 1. On practice copy paper, students should plan half of a face shape outline that includes the profile view of the forehead, nose, lips, chin, and ear. The other side of the face can be a smooth oval, or a more interesting line, but should not look the same as the other side of the face. Add eye shapes that do not match, nostrils that do not match, and lips. Make sure one eye is much lower than the other.


274 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 2. Show how to open a new document on the drawing program. Select a paintbrush and set to black outline and a bright color of fill. Have them try drawing the same profile half face that they practiced on paper. Reassure them that they can undo this step until they are happy with their shape. It does not have to look perfect, since they are trying for an abstract shape that just resembles a profile. 3. When the other side of the face is drawn, give reminders that it should look different from the first shape. This side should be set to black outline, but a different bright color of fill, overlapping the middle area of the face. In the layer menu, show how to send the second half of the face behind the first half, so there are no spaces between the two shapes. 4. Next, demonstrate drawing eye shapes on each side and point out that each shape drawn and filled with color will be on its own layer. Show how to select the correct layer in the layer menu for adjusting or changing a shape. 5. Limit the number of colors that students may use for the portrait, as Picasso did. Repeating three or four colors is advised for a strong design. Make sure there is good contrast between colors that overlap or touch. 6. Encourage students to draw large enough to almost touch all four sides of the page. If a student has extra space, consider adding a hat and/or a neck to complete the drawing. 7. Suggest that some shapes may look better with more black line detail inside the shape, especially hair shapes. Select a brush that is not as wide as the outline for interior lines. 8. When the drawing is complete, demonstrate using the rectangle tool (set to fill with color that contrasts your drawing) and cover the entire page for the background. In the layer menu, send this layer to the back. 9. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop.

Figure 10.5a  Picasso Faces Line Drawings, Marilyn Palmer.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

Figure 10.5b  Seated Woman, 1953, Pablo Picasso, 1881–1973, Spanish, oil on canvas, 51 ½” × 37 7/8”. Gift by exchange and funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Saint Louis Art Museum.

Curriculum Connection Social studies. Research one of Picasso’s most famous masterpieces, Guernica, 1937, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. This painting is a visual story of the bombing of the town Guernica by Nazi warplanes. Write a short story on the effects of war on life as depicted in this important painting.


Pop Art Action Word Grades–5–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, color, shape, balance, variety, contrast, pattern Vocabulary–pop art, comic book art, primary colors, layers, text

Materials/equipment–computer, basic drawing program, printer, printing paper, copy paper, visuals of Roy Lichtenstein’s art


276 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Background Information The pop art movement had its start in the 1950s. This group of artists became famous for depicting everyday “popular” objects in very bright, eye-catching colors. Andy Warhol was known for his repeated rows of soup cans or movie stars repeated in various bright color combinations. Jasper Johns, another pop artist, became known for his flag paintings. Roy Lichtenstein is famous for his comic-book-style paintings, sometimes including the tiny dot patterns seen in old comic books. Preparation Try the lesson ahead of time and be ready to demonstrate each step on the program the students will use. Print your examples for students to see in the room. Prepare a digital presentation on pop art, including examples from Keith Haring, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Show examples of Lichtenstein’s comic-book-style works as well as his style of action words; suggested titles to include: Popeye, Crying Girl, Whaam Pow!, and Blam. Point out the bright primary colors used, the black outlining, and running parts of the image off the edges of the canvas. Also show the class the tiny Ben Day dot pattern that did exist in newspaper comics. Process 1. On practice copy paper, have students draw an action word in big bold block letters. The letters can overlap each other. Plan (label) about three or four colors for the design. 2. Next, have them draw a shape or shapes around the word to correlate with the word itself. For instance, the shape might look broken for the word “shattered,” it might look puffy for the word “poof,” etc. This shape should be already running off the paper if the word has been drawn big enough. 3. Demonstrate and have students open a new document on the drawing program. Show how to select the paintbrush and set the color palette to a bright color of fill and a wide black outline. 4. In the text menu, point out fonts that have thick letters, and set your keyboard to capitals. Show several styles that would work for the lesson. Have students try out several fonts, deleting until they are happy with their choice. Show how to drag the text box out so it fills up much of the page, running off at least one side. Ask them to experiment with tipping the text diagonally on the page. 5. On a new layer, show how to draw one big shape or several smaller shapes, which together cover a large area and help to emphasize the meaning of the word. It is also possible to use a shape that already exists in the shape tool options. Set this shape(s) to a contrasting color and black outline. Send behind the lettering layer in the layer menu. 6. Either hand drawing or continuing to use the shape tool, they should continue to fill more background areas until the page is filled. These should also be on separate layers so they are easier to edit.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

Figure 10.6  Pop Art Example, 2019, Marilyn Palmer, Sketchpad 4.0, combination of text tool, shape tool, and manipulation of the layer palette.

7. Demonstrate how to fill several areas of the design with a dot pattern typical of comics. Use a small circle shape with no outline. Again, stress using good contrast to the drawing. 8. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop. Curriculum Connection Language arts. Imagine an event that could inspire the artwork you created. Write a short story that depicts the same energy as your graphic image.


African Mask Design Grades–4–8 Curriculum connection–social studies Time needed–3–4 class periods

Materials/equipment–computer, basic drawing program, printer, printing paper, copy paper, visuals of African masks

Elements and principles of art–shape, texture, line, color, pattern, balance, contrast Vocabulary–symmetry, copy/paste, texture

Background Information African masks, usually worn for ceremonies, are generally part of a full-body costume often made of grass or cloth. The masks can be symbols for past ancestors and spirits. They are functional and can be worn for ceremonies (often weddings and funerals), for entertainment, and hung on walls for decoration. Many believe the wearer of the mask can communicate with spirits or turns into the spirit itself. Sometimes the mask design is a combination of animal and human parts. Many kinds of media are used in African mask designs, including clay, wood, feathers, animal hair, shells,


278 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS beads, animal horns, fabric, and more. The design is usually symmetrical with exaggerated facial features, especially the eyes. Preparation Try the lesson ahead of time and be ready to demonstrate each step on the program that the students will use. Print your examples for students to see in the room. Prepare a digital presentation on African masks using examples from the Internet. Share some background information about the meaning, usage, and style of African masks. Emphasize the many varieties of materials that have been used. Note that the colors used are often neutrals (shades of browns), white, dark red, and black. Discuss the types of patterns used on African masks: dots, lines, and shapes to repeatedly outline and emphasize the eyes. Facial features are often abstract, ­elongated, or exaggerated. Process 1. Have students fold a piece of practice paper in half lengthwise. With pencil, they should draw half of a mask shape, using as much of the paper as possible. If they want hair or horns as part of the design, they should leave space and draw it in as well. Part of the design should touch the top and bottom of the paper and come as close to the side as possible. Next, they can plan one oversized and/or abstracted eye shape and one half of the nose and mouth. (Nose and mouth should connect to the fold.) Go over lines to make them as dark as possible. 2. Instruct them to refold the paper, so the design is on the inside, and rub the back of the paper to transfer lines to the other side for symmetry. Open and go over all lines. Next, they are able to add some designs, lines, and shapes, keeping the design symmetrical. Discuss labeling the colors and types of textures that might be in each spot, such as wood, animal hair, beads, etc. 3. Demonstrate and have students open a new document on the drawing program. Show how to draw a line with the pencil or ruler tool that divides the paper in half from top to bottom, and how to keep this line on a separate layer so that you can delete it later. Draw the side of the face, starting and ending on the center line. Copy, paste, and flip the line horizontally to connect and become the other side of the face. 4. Use the same process for each feature of the face. Make suggestions for filling areas with textures and colors to imitate the many different media used in African masks. 5. On top of the colors and textures, demonstrate adding line and pattern detail, remembering to keep the design symmetrical. 6. When the drawings are complete, use the rectangle tool (set to fill with color that contrasts your drawing) and cover the entire page for the background. In the layer menu, show how to send this layer to the back. 7. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

Figure 10.7  Face Mask, late nineteenth–early twentieth century, unidentified Ligbi artist or unidentified Jula artist, Material: wood, 11 7/8” × 6” × 3 7/8”. Funds given by Howard F. Baer in honor of his wife, Isabel A. Baer, Saint Louis Art Museum.

Curriculum Connection Social studies. Have students research the history of African masks, going back to Paleolithic times. How has the use of masks in Africa changed since that time? Why are they used? Who usually wears them? How are they used today?


Design a Poster Grades–6–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–3–5 class periods Elements and principles of art–color, space, variety, balance, emphasis, contrast

Materials/equipment–computer, photo-editing website or application, printer, printing paper, copy paper, flash drives (optional), visuals of posters.

Vocabulary–graphic design, stock photo, advertising, font, layout

Background Information Students are accustomed to seeing advertisements wherever they look: billboards, television, magazines, and grocery stores. This is an opportunity to teach them that someone has an art career designing and making decisions about what kind of lettering, color, and images will be used to communicate an idea. Graphic designers rely on computers for lettering, which was formerly done by hand. Originality and creativity separate interesting and exciting ideas from the ordinary.


280 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Posters by such artists as Alphonse Mucha, Peter Max, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Andy Warhol are examples of famous artists using poster design as their trademark. Preparation This assignment is to make a public service advertisement for an event at school (real or imaginary). It could be an announcement for a Spring concert, open house, a play, Library Week, Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Nurse Appreciation Week, National Education Week, or an art exhibition. These events happen at all schools. If possible, have an actual school calendar for reference of dates of upcoming events. Have the class brainstorm a list of school events that could be made into a poster. Post the list in the room. Next, brainstorm a list of information the poster must include (who, what, where, when). Show examples from the Internet of the artists listed in the preceding text and discuss how these artists have used the elements and principles of design to make their art successful. Research free photo-editing websites/applications and choose the most appropriate for your class. Discuss how to use free stock photo websites responsibly. Process 1. Students should decide which school event they would like to advertise. If desired, have the students design a basic layout on a practice copy paper. 2. Have students begin with searching for photos for their posters from free stock photo websites. Show them how to save the images they want to use in their student account, on the desktop, or on a flash drive. 3. Next, have them open a new document with the program you have shown them. 4. Demonstrate how to place an image on a page in the chosen program, including how to move the image and size it without warping. They should try the image in different sizes, angles, and placements on the page. 5. Show how to use lettering in combination with an image, discussing placement, size, and color options. 6. Allow students to experiment with various fonts and font colors available. Have them choose no more than two fonts that work well together. 7. Refer the class back to the information the poster must have (who, what, where, when), and have them use the text tool with the chosen fonts and colors. They should be careful to put each text area on a separate layer for ease of later editing. Students should also give thought to which of their two chosen fonts is the most effective for various parts of the text. What colors contrast the image from the text effectively? 8. As the page develops, have students consider how many different images work best for the layout, keeping in mind that simplicity usually conveys an idea clearly. However, they might choose to overlap, sending one thing behind another in the layer menu. Is there an emphasis point? How can one part be made more important than the rest? Can some text be outlined in a contrasting color? Can an image have a border to help it stand out?

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

9. Point out that some negative space is necessary as part of the design. However, negative space does not have to be white! Have them pick a color that offers the best contrast to the image. If it is not white, they should set the fill color to the desired color, then draw a rectangle to cover the entire page. Send the rectangle to the back in the layer menu. 10. Give directions for how to save the image into their student account, send to your teacher account, or save to the desktop. Assessment Consider evaluating the photos with a rubric assigning points to the following critical learning areas of this lesson: •• The poster includes the required information (who, what, where, when). •• The information shows up well from a distance due to good contrast. •• There is an emphasis area that is clearly the most important part of the poster. •• The photographs used relate well to the content of the poster. •• There is enough variety for interest, but not too much to create confusion.

Figure 10.8  Jane Avril, 1892, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864–1901, color lithograph. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.


282 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Curriculum Connection Language arts. Challenge students to write a paragraph on graphic communication. Why is this an effective way to communicate? How important is the written part of the communication as compared to the visual image? How can the two enhance each other?

Photography There is no doubt that photography, with its almost 200 years of history, is now accepted as an art form. Many older students now have almost instant access to a camera (cell phones), and some students have photography experience. Check your school’s policy on the use of cell phones for taking pictures. Most elementary and middle schools prefer students not to have cell phones out during the school day. And there will be students who do not have a cell phone. Therefore, most art teachers find themselves working with digital cameras. Although it is increasingly rare, some schools continue to have traditional photography equipment, including cameras, black-and-white film, and developing supplies. Since usually neither cell phones nor film cameras tend to be good options, the lessons in this chapter will focus on digital cameras.

Digital Photography Digital photography has almost replaced film photography, although real cameras continue to be used by photographers who prefer effects that can be obtained only with film. If you are lucky enough to have access to cameras for student use, it is likely they will be digital, and there may not be enough for a whole class to use them at once. Therefore, you may have to devise a system of sharing. This will require two lessons going on simultaneously for the number of class times it takes to have each group of students use the cameras and download their photos (from the memory card) onto a computer. Once everyone has a digital photo to work with, you can proceed with your lesson on the computers. Changes to the photos, or digital lessons using the photos, can be done on any photo-­ editing website/application. Files would be saved the same as a digital lesson, either saving into the student’s account, sending to the teacher, or saving to the desktop. Photo printing at the elementary and middle school level is usually done at a drugstore or photo shop from a flash drive or external hard drive. Some teachers select the photos they want to print while others allow students to bring their own flash drive and take it for printing themselves. Although it will limit the number of photos you can fit on a memory card, the better the quality and the larger the size (within reason) of the images, the finer the photos will be. If possible, look at the image size on the computer—300 dpi (dots per inch) gives

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

publication-quality photos while 75 dpi is preferable for sending via e-mail. (A local newspaper suggests e-mail quality of 200 dpi, with the photos 5” or 6” wide/tall.) If you want the photo for display purposes, 150 dpi is suggested.

ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY It is possible to take a large number of photos on one memory card. A photo can be retaken immediately if it doesn’t turn out well the first time. You will have an opportunity to look at it later on a screen to see an enlargement. You can immediately delete a poor photo and take another, better shot. While you may take many photos, you have the opportunity to select the best of the lot to print. No need to purchase film. After the photos have been transferred to a computer or disk from the memory card, the memory card is erased and reformatted. You can easily make a “slideshow” with selected photos, to be shown digitally.




Suggestions for Taking Digital or Film Photos Light. Photography is still about light. Pay attention to it! Notice how something that is partially lit is more interesting than something brightly lit. It is why photographers often prefer to take photos early in the morning or late in the day. Rule of thirds. The “rule of thirds” suggests that the subject (the focal point) should be placed at an intersection of a tic-tac-toe grid. (It might be the lightest, brightest, or most complex item in the photo). In a landscape, avoid having the horizon line in the center—move it high or low. Close is better! Particularly with cell phones or inexpensive cameras, the quality of something taken from a distance may be poor when it is enlarged. Avoid distractions. Look to one corner, then around the edges of the viewfinder to make sure there is nothing there that you didn’t intend to include, or that detracts from the photo. If the background doesn’t add to the effect you are after, try a different angle. Viewpoint. The bird’s-eye view (looking down) or worm’s-eye view (lens low, looking up) give a different “reading” of a subject than shooting straight on. Elements and principles of art. These are especially applied in photography: leading lines, formal or informal balance, repetition of shapes, contrasting foreground and background, differences in value, distinguishing texture, and fabulous colors. Engaging attention. If you are taking a photograph of a scene, try to include something or someone (a focal point) in the foreground to make it more interesting.

Photographing People Backlighting. If you are taking a picture in sunlight or in front of a window with light behind the subject, the person is backlit and the face is likely to be too dark. Even in a bright situation, use a flash (standing back a distance of 6’) to improve the appearance of a backlit subject. With a backlit subject, you can give an appropriate amount of light to the subject by using a built-in flash and using a telephoto (if the camera has one). Flash. The built-in flash in most cameras is good only for a distance of approximately 10’. If you are too close when using a flash, the subject will appear “washed out.” If you are further away, it is ineffective. Framing. People (and their faces) are vertical. The camera can be turned to take vertical photos. Use your space well. When taking photos of young children, get down to their level for more effective photographs. Cropping people. Leave space in front of a subject moving one direction, or in front of a face that is looking in one direction. When taking photos of people, it is better to crop at the waist, shoulder, hip, or knees than at the ankle or wrist. Including a person’s hands often adds interest to a composition. Panning. If you are taking a moving subject (such as a runner), follow the movement with the camera, then take the picture. You may be able to stop the action briefly, while still having the effect of motion in the background. And remember, rules of composition can be broken!

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography


Unusual-Angle Photograph Grades–6–8 Curriculum connection–language arts Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–line, shape, balance, emphasis, value, movement

Vocabulary–asymmetrical, focal point, leading lines, rule of thirds, foreshortening, cropping Materials/equipment–cameras, ­computers, photo-editing application or website, flash drive(s)

Background Information Learning to see things from a new perspective is one of the exciting things about photography. Shadows or repeated shapes suddenly add drama to a photograph. Ask students to bring in a photograph (in a magazine or newspaper) that demonstrates some of the things you have been talking about (contrast, leading lines, repetition, rule of thirds, close-up). Make a digital presentation of photos that are of unusual angles: taken from a high or low vantage point, an angle that shows extreme foreshortening, or a close-up view of one part in the composition. Consider including these suggested famous photographers: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, James VanDerZee, Imogen Cunningham, or Annie Leibowitz. Preparation Determine boundaries for students taking pictures. Should they stay in the room? Should they check out their camera and stay in the school? Make sure your administration is comfortable with students going outside of your room before you proceed. If there are not enough cameras for every student in the class, prepare a schedule for groups of students to use the available cameras while another lesson is going on simultaneously. Proceed with the computer steps when all photos have been taken. Prepare a demonstration on the computer for methods of enhancing a photo. Show how to crop unnecessary background and to allow the emphasis of the photo to follow the rule of thirds, improve the contrast in the image, turn the photo to black and white or sepia (if desired), etc. Remind them to make a duplicate of the original (in the layer menu) for experimenting. Process 1. Have students lay their found photos on a table and gather around for a discussion on which are the best examples of unusual camera angles. You could also use a document camera and project several pictures at a time for the discussion. Which are their favorites and why?


286 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 2. Demonstrate lying on the floor on your belly and aiming the camera upward toward the subject. Step up on a table to demonstrate a view from overhead. Crouching alongside an object (like a handrail) can demonstrate an interesting foreshortened view. Emphasize the importance of getting close to the subject, perhaps a distance of 1’–2’. 3. Before students start taking photos, share the assessment points you will use for this lesson (see the following text). 4. Show the class how to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer and erase their photos from the camera before they turn it in to you. Clearly indicate the time when photography must stop so that there is enough time for transferring the photos to the computer. 5. Determine how many different photos you would like each student to take—about four to six photos are suggested. Have students begin taking photos of unusual artistic angles, reminding them of demonstrations. 6. When all photos are taken and transferred to computers, repeat your presentation on methods of enhancing the photo using a photo-editing website or application. 7. Students should consider cropping, adding contrast and/or brightness, changing to black and white, etc. 8. Demonstrate how students should save the photo in their student account, send to teacher account, or save to desktop. 9. If students will be printing their own images, explain how they can transfer the file from their computer or account to their flash drive. Alternatively, you may decide to choose the pictures for printing and put them on your own device. Unless a good printer is available at your school, take the pictures (or have students take their own flash drives) to a drugstore or photography store for printing. Assessment Consider evaluating the photos with a rubric assigning points to the following critical learning areas of this lesson: The photos taken show an understanding of unusual camera angles. Cropping has been used to delete unnecessary background information or clutter. The photograph has good contrast, allowing the viewer to see the composition from a distance. The rule of thirds has been used for the emphasis point. Curriculum Connection

Language Arts Photo with a poem. Perhaps it is possible to have a language arts teacher talk to your class or work separately in their class to have students compose their poem.

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Have students select and print a favorite photo and compose a poem to go with it. The poem does not have to rhyme, and it doesn’t even have to mention something that is in the picture. Instead, ask students to think about how they feel when they look at the photo. Does it make them feel sad? Or cause them to think about a person or place that is special to them? If a poem is worth writing, expect them take time to make it at least 14 or more lines, or four or five stanzas.


Black-and-White Emotion Portrait Grades–6–8 Curriculum connections–language arts Time needed–4–6 class periods

Materials/equipment–cameras, ­computers, photo-editing application or website, flash drive(s)

Elements and principles of art–space, value, balance, emphasis, movement, contrast Vocabulary–asymmetrical, focal point, leading lines, rule of thirds

Background Information Famous portrait photographers are easy to research on the Internet. Since this lesson is centered around showing emotion, it will be important to find examples that do the same to show the class. Likely, the photo will have to be a close-up view to show facial detail, but an unusual camera angle can also be incorporated. If there is any background behind the subject, it should help get across the emotion of the subject. Find examples and create a short slideshow from the following suggested artists: Dorothea Lange, Steve McCurry, Carol Guzy, Rehahn, and Lee Jeffries. Preparation Determine boundaries for students taking pictures. Should they stay in the room? Should they check out their camera and stay in the school? Talk to your principal if you’d like students to go out of the room. If there are not enough cameras for each student in the class, prepare a schedule for groups of students to use the available cameras while another lesson is going on simultaneously. As you are forming your groups, pair each student with a partner. Partners can share one camera. Proceed with the computer steps when all photos have been taken. Prepare a digital presentation of famous portrait photographers, emphasizing emotion. (See the suggested artists in the preceding text.)


288 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS Have a class discussion and post how different emotions can be depicted in a portrait. Stress creative instead of cliché solutions. Process 1. Using a student as a model, demonstrate how close to the subject they should be to get a good close-up with the cameras they will use. Demonstrate high, low, and side angles of the subject, showing exactly where the camera should be held. 2. Pair students with partners and have them take four to six photos of each other, concentrating on showing emotion. They can try a different emotion, different camera angle, and different lighting each time! 3. Before students start taking photos, share the assessment points you will use for this lesson (see the following text). 4. Show the class how to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer and erase their photos from the camera before they turn it in to you. Clearly indicate the time when photography must stop so that there is enough time for transferring the photos to the computer. 5. When all photos are taken and transferred to computers, open a photograph of your own on the photo-editing website or application that the students will be using. Show how to crop unnecessary background and to allow the emphasis of the photo to follow the rule of thirds, and how to improve the contrast in the image and turn the photo to black and white. Remind students to make a duplicate of the original (in the layer menu) for experimenting. 6. Demonstrate how students should save the photo in their student account, send to teacher account, or save to desktop. 7. If students will be printing their own images, explain how they can transfer the file from their computer or account to their flash drive. Alternatively, you may decide to choose the pictures for printing and put on your own device. Unless a good printer is available at your school, take the pictures (or have students take their own flash drives) to a drugstore or photography store for printing. Assessment Consider evaluating the photos with a rubric assigning points to the following critical learning areas of this lesson: The photos taken show a clearly understood emotion. An unusual camera angle has been used. Cropping has been used to delete unnecessary background information or clutter. The photograph has good contrast, allowing the viewer to see the composition from a distance. The rule of thirds has been used for the emphasis point.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

Curriculum Connections

Language Arts Students should trade photos with their partners so that each has a photo of themselves to use as an inspiration for writing. Have them think of an appropriate title for the photo. Students could also write a paragraph about the emotion they depicted. Any writing should be school-appropriate and not damaging to any other person.

Figure 10.9  Palestinian Child, 1958, Dorothea Lange, 1895–1965, American, Gelatin Silver Print, 4 1/8” × 3 5/8”, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.


Texture Collage Photograph Grades–6–8 Time needed–4–6 class periods Elements and principles of art–space, texture, shape, value, pattern, balance, emphasis, variety, movement, contrast

Materials/equipment–cameras, ­computers, photo-editing application or website, flash drive(s)

Vocabulary–focal point, leading lines, rule of thirds

Background Information This is an excellent project to teach the elements and principles of design. The main focus is texture, and how the student arranges the textures in a photograph will create a unique piece of art. This lesson is not done by combining parts of several


290 THE ART TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS photographs, but rather by manipulating elements within one photograph. Texture photographs are readily available on the Internet for class discussion. However, the concept of a photo collage means the photograph should have enough variety of elements to manipulate and create a new image. Preparation See the preparation steps in the project titled “Black and White Emotion Portrait” for considerations when students leave the classroom to take photographs, as well as for tips on how to share cameras and when to begin the work on computers. Prepare a digital presentation of photographers working with texture, as well as those working with collage. Suggestions include Nancy Spero, Raoul Hausmann, Artie Vierkant, and Ryan Foerster. Organize your presentation in advance, as all photos may not be age-appropriate. Bring in a large magazine photograph of texture. Use scissors to cut into the photograph and rearrange the parts. Allow the class to discuss what might be copied and pasted in a different size, orientation, etc., to create a new composition. Process 1. Remind students to take pictures of textures, not “things.” The view in the camera should have a variety of spaces, textures, shapes, values, and patterns. These elements will need to be rearranged with a collage technique. Each student should take four to six photos. 2. Before students start taking photos, share the assessment points you will use for this lesson (see the following text). 3. Show the class how to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer and erase their photos from the camera before they turn it in to you. Clearly specify the time when photography must stop so that there is enough time to the transfer the photographs to the computer. 4. When all photos are taken and transferred to computers, open a photograph of your own on the photo-editing website or application that the students will be using. Show how to crop unnecessary background and to allow the emphasis of the photo to follow the rule of thirds, and how to improve the contrast in the image. Remind students to make a duplicate of the original (in the layer menu) for experimenting. 5. Demonstrate how to use the photo-editing program to copy/paste, change size, and add effects such as drop shadows. Experiment with filters on individual parts of the photograph on separate layers. Have a class discussion on which filters may work for this lesson and which may not. 6. Demonstrate how students should save the photo in their student account, send to teacher account, or save to desktop.

CHAPTER TEN: Computer Graphics and Digital Photography

7. If students will be printing their own images, explain how they can transfer the file from their computer or account to their flash drive. Alternatively, you may decide to choose the pictures for printing and put them on your own device. Unless a good printer is available at your school, take the pictures (or have students take their own flash drives) to a drugstore or photography store for printing. Assessment Consider evaluating the photos with a rubric assigning points to the following critical learning areas of this lesson: The photos taken show an emphasis on texture. Cropping has been used to delete unnecessary background information or clutter. The photograph has good contrast, allowing the viewer to see the composition from a distance. The rule of thirds has been used for the emphasis point. Copy/paste function has been used for a collage effect. Composition shows the creative use of options for a variety of effects and the appropriate use of filters. The design shows a good use of the elements and principles of design to create an interesting composition that leads the viewer’s eye to the point of emphasis.

Figure 10.10  Texture Collage Example, 2019. Marilyn Palmer, collage. Photo editor online Pixlr. com, collage pasting pieces of the original photo in various sizes and placements.



A Aboriginal art, 178 Aboriginal Dot Painting (Rich), 130f Aboriginal "Dreamings" project, 176–180 alternative, 179–180 background information, 178 curriculum connection, 180 language arts involvement, 180 preparation, 178 process, 178–179 Aboriginal painters, patterned artwork, 152 Abstract, definition, 47 Abstract forms, 247 definition, 52 Acoma Pueblo pot, 217f Acrostic, usage, 81 Acrylic paint, 111 usage, 154 Actual space, definition, 49 Actual texture, example, 47 Adams, Ansel, 285 Adaptations attention-seeking students, adaptations, 27–28 autism spectrum, 25 developmental disabilities, 25 hearing, impairment, 26–27

lower grade levels, 28 motor impairment, 27 social/emotional needs, 24 vision, impairment, 26 Additive clay building, 206 Aerial perspective, definition/process, 49, 50, 51 Aesthetic conversations, 77 African animal paintings (acrylic), 95f African Mask Design Project, 277–279 background information, 277 curriculum connection, 279 preparation, 273 process, 273–274 social studies involvement, 279 African Slab Masks Project, 221–223 background information, 221 curriculum connection, 222 preparation, 221–222 process, 222 social studies involvement, 222 Air drawings, demonstration, 154 All Saints Day/All Souls Day, 194 Alphabet book (art project), 74 Chinese alphabet, 187 signing alphabet drawing project, 99–100


294 Index Alphabet Soup Project, 263–264 alternative, 264 background information, 263 preparation, 264 process, 264 American Gothic (Wood), 64 American Indian Art, 188 Amorphous, definition, 47 Ancestry portraits, creation, 82 Anchor standards, 57 Animal drawing project, 92–95 adaptations, 94 alternative, 94 background information, 92 curriculum connections, 94–95 language arts involvement, 94–95 preparation, 92 process, 94 science involvement, 95 Animal Head (Moore), 246f Animals behavior, 95 camouflage, understanding, 83 classifications (art project), 72 drawings. See Oaxaca papier-mâché animals. far north/south, art project, 119–121 hibernation habits, 121 list, 93f movement, representation, 178 personality story, writing, 95 projects. See Oaxacan Folk Art Animals Project. Arabic illuminated manuscripts (art project), 68 Architecture. See Everyone Is an Architect Project impossibilities, 267 Arcimboldo, Giuseppe, 138 Armature, definition, 210 Art (artwork) acrostic, usage, 81 bio-poem, writing, 80 classroom storage, 38 conversation starters, 76 creation, imagination (impact), 139

cultures, inclusion, 63–64 curriculum, 1, 35 connections, 81–83 day-to-day survival skills, 35 design principles, 44, 52–56 mnemonic, 46 discussion, 75 drawing conversations, 78 description, usage, 78 education, 2 elements, 44–52, 284 mnemonic, 46 equipment, usage/safety, 31 expectations, 2 free verse, writing, 80 gallery experience, 76 walk, 75 haiku, writing, 80 history, 63, 64 identification, 207 images, usage, 74–76 integrated learning, art projects, 66, 68, 70, 72 labels, usage, 38 materials, usage, 40–41 matting considerations, 39–40 mix and match (trivia game), 78 modification, special-needs students, 23–29 multicultural art, 175 photography, natural light/outdoors (usage), 33 poetry, writing, 79–81 portfolios, maintenance, 38 principles, 284 public relations, importance, 32–33 reproductions, compare/contrast, 75 school/district art exhibits, 33 signing, 38 sketchbook/journal project, 90–91 background information, 90–91 preparation, 91 process, 91


teacher direct drawing, avoidance, 42 teaching, 2 time lines, examples, 65–72 time periods, inclusion, 63–64 trivia, 78 viewer, poem (writing), 185 writing, 78 Art board, size (change), 272 Art classroom artwork storage, 38 calming corner, usage (consideration), 41 cleanup, 40 desk, placement, 37 dismissal, 40 equipment management, 37 materials, usage, 40–41 praise, usage, 43 quiet thinking time, usage, 43 recycling, usage, 41 rules chart, development, 41 safety, 30–31 seating chart, usage, 41 setup, 36–41 student artwork, display, 39 student notebooks, usage, 38 technology, 37 visual appeal, 36–37 Art concepts, understanding eighth graders, 22 fifth graders, 17 first graders, 9 fourth graders, 15 kindergartners, 8 second graders, 11 seventh graders, 21 sixth graders, 19 third graders, 132 Art Deco. See Paper-strip Art Deco handouts, examples, 160f, 162f Art Deco design project, 159–163 alternative, 163 background information, 159 curriculum connection, 163 preparation, 159, 161

process, 161, 163 social studies involvement, 163 two-part project, 159, 160 Art-gum eraser, usage, 187 Artistically gifted students, challenging, 29 Artistic license, 123 Asian brush strokes, 184 Asian panda paintings/drawings (art project), 74 Assessment, 61–62 Astrology (art project), 70 Asymmetrical balance, definition, 53 As You Like It Project (box sculpture/found objects), 238–239 background information, 238 preparation, 238 process, 238 Attention-seeking students, adaptations, 27–28 Audubon, John James, 92 Australian Aboriginal dot painting project, 130–131 background information, 130 curriculum connections, 131 preparation, 131 process, 131 social studies/language arts involvement, 131 Australian Aboriginal Original (Schaefer), 129f Australian Aboriginal originals project, 128–129 background information, 128 preparation, 128 process, 128–129 younger student adaptation, 129 Autism spectrum, adaptations, 25 Awesome Cool Band (Davenport), 6f

B Background board, 243 Background, definition, 49 Backlighting, usage, 284 Badminton Shuttlecocks (Oldenburg), 250 Bailey, Radcliffe, 150


296 Index Balance, design principles, 53, 53f Ballet Dancers in the Wings (Degas), 101f, 158f Bark painting, 179–180 Baseball Games (Zampier), 90f Bas-relief, 51. See also Shiny Skin-AluminumFoil Bas Relief project definition, 52, 243 design, building, 163 Bas-Relief Project, 242–245 preparation, 244 process, 24–245 younger student adaptation, 245 Bat, definition, 210 Battens, definition, 210 Bayeux Tapestry (art project), 68 Beasts of the Sea (Matisse), 142 Bedroom, The (Van Gogh), 110 Benton, Thomas Hart, 116 Bestiary animal drawing project, 92–95 animal list, 93f Big Eleven (artists), 63–64 Bingham, George Caleb, 116 Bio-poem, 80 Birds, drawing/understanding, 83 Bisque, definition, 210 Bisque ware, 209–210 Black-and-White Emotion Portrait Project, 287–289 assessment, 291 background information, 287 curriculum connections, 289 language arts involvement, 289 preparation, 287–288 process, 288 Black, shades (project), 181–184 Black tempera resist, 123 Blam (Lichtenstein), 276 Bleeds, usage, 149 Blending, process, 51 Blind contour drawing, 100 Blotting, 127 Blue (Kandinsky), 266f Blue Dog, The (Rodrigue), 92

Bone Coffins (Aboriginal art), 179f Bone dry, definition, 210 Bonnard, Pierre, 108 Brainstorming, usage, 225, 280 Braque, Georges, 141, 144, 273 Brochure and Flyer paper, usage, 74–75 Broken pattern, definition, 53 Brushes, ink sticks, ink stones, and paper (four treasures), usage, 186 Bulletin board composing, 43–44 materials, usage, 43 themes, suggestions, 43–44 Buonarotti, Michelangelo, 63 Burnish, definition, 210

C Calder, Alexander, 123 Calligraphy, poetry, and painting (three perfections), 185–186 Calming corner, usage (consideration), 41 Cardboard Truck (Niven), 239f Cardboard, usage, 251 Cassatt, Mary, 101, 123 Castle (Packard), 148f Castle project, 147–149 background information, 148 curriculum connection, 149 preparation, 148–149 process, 149 social studies involvement, 149 Cave, Nick, 116 Cave paintings/brushes (art project), 66 Ceiling tile, painting, 118 Celebrations, 83–84 Center of interest, 264 definition, 54 Centipede (Vasquez), 252f Central America, art contribution, 194 Ceramic Mural Project, 226–231 alternative, 229–231 background information, 226–227 ceramic birdhouses, 230


decoration, coils (usage), 229 draped slabs, usage, 229, 230 house-box planter project, 229 panels, 227 preparation, 228 process, 228–229 slab building projects, alternative, 229–231 slab cups, 231 slab sculpture, 229 theme, discussion, 228 wall-hung project, 229 Ceramics, 205 definition, 210 finishing, 209–210 geckos, discovery, 232 terms, definitions, 210–211 Ceramic Storytellers Project, 233–236 background information, 234 curriculum connection, 236 language arts involvement, 236 preparation, 234–235 process, 235–236 Cezanne, Paul, 165 Chagall, Marc, 138 Character addition, textural materials (impact), 142 development, 2 Chiaroscuro, definition, 51 Children, characteristics fifth graders, 16 first graders, 9 fourth graders, 14 grade-level children, 7–23 kindergarteners, 7 second-graders, 10 sixth-graders, 18 third-graders, 12 Chilly Observation (Raleigh), 119 Chimera, drawing, 94 Chinese scroll painting (art project), 68 Choice-based art education, 2–5 Chrysler Building, Art Deco example, 159, 160f, 161f, 164 Cityscape, one-point perspective, 110

Claesz-Heda, Pieter, 165 Classe, Meg, 46 Classroom. See Art classroom Clay artwork, identification, 207 clean-up, 208 conditioning, 206–207 consistency, working, 207 definition, 210 distribution, 206 drying, 222 elasticity, testing, 207 finishing/glazing, 209–210 firing, 208–209, 222 hand-building, 206 painting, 209–210 repairing, 209 sculptural methods, 206 storage, 207 throwing, problem, 207 tools, substitutes, 208 wedging, 206, 225, 232 working surfaces, 208 Clay, usage considerations, 206–211 safety, 31 Closet, cleaning/listmaking, 110 Cocktail Party, The (Skoglund), 224 Coil building, 206 Coiled pot, initiation, 220 Coiling, definition, 210 Coil pots, 219 drawings, 217f Coils formation, 217 rolling, demonstration, 216 Coins (art project), 72 Collage, 141. See also Texture Collage Photograph Project guidelines, 141–142 materials requirement, 142 usage, 144 usage, 154


298 Index Collage and Watercolor (Lee), 36 Collagraph-print project, 164 Color art element, 48–49, 48f dilution, 149 fill, 265 hue, change, 117 layer, creation, 272 mixing, 113 number, limitation, 274 personal rainbow color wheel project, 112–115 primary colors (pigment/light), 49, 113, 114 questions, 82 scheme, 127 secondary color, 114 selection, 266 wheel, 114 example, 112f Colorful hand-crafted ceramic geckos (de Allende), 233 Colosseum, 68 Compare/contrast exercise, 75 Complementary color scheme, 127 Complementary colors, usage, 129 Composing Poetry on a Spring Outing (Yuan), 185f Composition, importance, 269 Compotier Avec Fruits (Picasso), 144 Computer-designed quilt block, 169 Computer graphics, 261 art lessons, 262–263 interior, 110 Concrete, reinforcement, 227 Conductor, The (Bommarito), 153f Cone, definition, 210 Connecting, anchor standards, 57 Construction paper, usage, 159 Contrast design principles, 56, 56f example, 54 types, 56 Contrasting values, definition, 51 Converging lines, usage, 54

Conversation starters, 76 Convex and Concave (Escher), 268f Cool colors, example, 49 Copy/paste function, usage, 264, 265, 269 Cordero, Helen, 234 Corner of a Room a La Sandy Skoglund Project, 224–226 background information, 224 preparation, 224–225 process, 225 Costa Rican Ox Cart (display), 201f Costa Rican Ox Cart Art project, 201–202 background information, 201–202 preparation, 202 process, 202 younger student adaptation, 202 Covered Vessel with Four Lug Handles (Ming dynasty), 220f Creating, anchor standards, 57 Creativity, fostering, 42–44 Creatures, quilt blocks, 170 Crenellation, 148 Crepe paper flowers, 196–197 Cropping, usage, 269 Cross-hatched, definition, 48 Cross-hatching, process, 51 Crying Girl (Lichtenstein), 276 Cubism, 273 impact, 159 Cultural quilt blocks, 170 Cunningham, Imogen, 285 Curriculum, 1, 35 connections, 81–83 Cutting tools, care, 31

D Dali, Salvador, 138, 141 Da Vinci, Leondardo, 54, 63 Davis, Stuart, 263 Day of the Dead. See Dia de Los Muertos research/report, 197 Day of the Dead Altar project, 194–197 background information, 194–195


crepe paper flowers, 196–197 curriculum connection, social studies/ language arts, 197 nichos (memory boxes), 196 papel picado, 196 preparation, 195 process, 196 skulls, decoration, 196 Day of the Dead Table of Remembrance (display), 197f Day-to-day survival skills, 35 de Chirico, Giorgio, 138 Degas, Edgar, 101, 108, 123 Demuth, Charles, 263 Describer, student role, 78 Design a Poster Project, 279–282 assessment, 286 background information, 279–280 preparation, 280 process, 280–281 Design, principles, 44, 52–56 Detail, process, 50 Developmental disabilities, adaptations, 25 Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), 194 Diamante, examples, 79 Diary, creation, 82 Digital/Film Photos Project, 284 Digital photography, 261, 282 advantages, 283 usage, 33 Direction, example, 48 Distractions, avoidance, 284 District art exhibits, 33 Docents, assigning, 76–77 Dominant, definition, 564 Dragon, drawing, 94 Draped slabs, usage, 229–230 Drawing, 85. See also Art (artwork); Students air drawings, demonstration, 154 animal drawing project, 92–95 botanical drawings, 136

geometric drawings, 105 hands, drawing project, 99–100 legs, wings, claws, and antennas drawing project, 96–97 line drawing, hand position demonstration, 182 mandala drawing project, 106–108 mistakes, usage, 86 room decoration project, 108–110 scale drawing, creation, 82 scribble-drawing, 265 teaching, 85 wash-and-line drawings, 187 Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Edwards), 97 Dream home, design, 257 Dreamtime representation, 178 student imaginations, 179 Dry brush, usage, 126 Dufy, Raoul, 123 Dunsworth, Peggy, 46

E Earth and Animated Nature, The (Goldsmith), 97 Edwards, Betty, 97 Eighth-grade students, 21–23 art concepts, understanding, 22 characteristics, 22 materials/technology, usage, 22 teaching suggestions, 23 Embroidery, 168 Emphasis, design principles, 54 Empire State Building (Art Deco example), 164 Energizer Bunny (Koons), 138 England, Norman conquest (art project), 68 Engobe, 212 definition, 210 Environmental mural, animal life, 119 Environments, quilt blocks, 170


300 Index Equatorial jungle project, 121–123 alternatives, 123 background information, 122 preparation, 122 process, 122–123 Equatorial Jungle, The (Rousseau), 121f Ernst, Max, 138, 141 Escher, M.C., 267–268. See also M.C. Escher Digital Compositions Project Eucalyptus tree bark, usage, 179–180 Even wash, 126 Everyone Is an Architect Project, 255–258 background information, 255–256 curriculum connections, 257 language arts involvement, 257 preparation, 256 process, 256 social studies involvement, 258 Express the Music competition, 154

F Face drawing, 274 face-form, embellishment, 248 substitution, 118 Facebook, usage, 32 Face Mask, 279f Fadeless paper (white paper), usage, 168 Fall Leaves (teacher example), 132f Family/group portrait project, 145–147 background information, 145 curriculum connection, 147 preparation, 146 process, 146–147 social studies involvement, 147 younger student adaptation, 147 Family of the Artist (De Vos), 145 Fantasy artwork (Fozzy), 140f Fantasy/surrealistic art project, 137–139 background information, 138 curriculum connections, 139 language involvement, 139

preparation, 138–139 process, 139 Favorite places, questions, 82 Fifth-grade children, 16–17 art concepts, understanding, 17 characteristics, 16 materials, usage, 16–17 teaching suggestions, 17 Figure-ground relationship, 49 Fire Ballet, The (Byergo), 157f Fire Love (Vogelsang), 155f Firing, 208–209 definition, 210 options, 216 First-grade children, 8–10 art concepts, first grader understanding, 9 characteristics, 90 materials, usage, 9 teaching suggestions, 9–10 Fish, Janet, 165 Flack, Audrey, 165 Flag images USA, Canada, Mexico, and United Kingdom, 248f Flag project (art project), 74 Flamingo (Vasquez), 253f Flash, usage, 284 Flood fill, 262 Focal point, definition, 54 Foerster, Ryan, 290 Foot, attachment, 211, 213 Foreground, definition, 50 Foreshortening, definition, 50 Formal balance (symmetrical balance), definition, 53 Formal critique, 62 Form, art element, 51–52, 52f Four Navajo Rug Designs, 261f Four-page booklet, copy paper (usage), 89f Fourth-grade children, 14–15 art concepts, understanding, 15 characteristics, 14 materials, usage, 14–15 teaching suggestions, 15


Four treasures. See Brushes, ink sticks, ink stones, and paper Four Treasures, The (example), 186f Fox Games (Skoglund), 226 Fox in Winter (Homer), 120 Framing, importance, 284 Frankenthaler, Helen, 80, 265 Free-form, definition, 47 Free transform tool, usage, 269 Free verse, usage, 80 Fruit Dish and Glass (Braque), 144

G Gallery experience, 76 walk, 75 Gates of Hell, The (Rodin), 51 Gates of Paradise, 51 Gauguin, Paul, 116 Geometric 3D form, sculpture, 240 Geometric drawings, 105 Geometric, examples, 47 Geometric shapes group sculpture, 242 project, 242 Geometric, traditional geometric blocks, 169 Geometric Units Project, 240–242 alternative, 242 background information, 240 design, 241f preparation, 240 process, 240–242 younger student adaptation, 242 Gesture, definition Giant flowers, student inspiration, 136 Giant Scissors (Kunz Bennett), 252f Girl Before a Mirror (Picasso), 273 Glazes, 216 definition, 210 options, 222 purchase, 209 underglaze, definition, 211 Glazing, 126, 209–210, 212

Glossenger, Julie, 239 Glued toothpick geometric shapes project, 242 Golden rectangle, 105 Gold paper, usage, 181 Gradation, process, 51 Grade-level characteristics, 7–23 National Core Arts Standards, alignment, 7 Gradient, definition, 50 Graduated wash, 126 Grandma Moses, 116 Grayscale, definition, 51 Greenware, definition, 210 Griesenauer Family in Their Kitchen, The (Griesenauer), 145f Griffin, drawing, 94 Grog, definition, 210 Ground plan (art project), 72 Guzy, Carol, 287

H Haiku poetry, 183 usage, 80 Hand drawing, usage, 276 Hands, drawing project, 99–100 background information, 99 blind contour drawing, 100 modified contour drawing, 100 preliminary drawing, 100 preparation, 99–100 process, 100 Haring, Keith, 276 Harland, Cathy, 106 Harnett, William, 165 Hatching, process, 51 Hausmann, Raoul, 290 Heade, Martin Johnson, 92 Hearing impairment, adaptations, 26–27 Heirloom certificate, usage, 200 Heros. See My Hero project Hicks, Edward, 92, 116 Historic village, construction, 258 Hockney, David, 276


302 Index Homer, Winslow, 92, 120, 123 Horizontal scrolls, usage, 186 Horse’s Head (Moore), 246f Hue, change, 117

I Images, usage, 85 Imaginary places (art project), 72 Immigration (art project), 70 Imming, Pat, 226–227 Implied texture, 52 definition, 47 Inch by Inch project, 155–156 background information, 155–156 preparation, 156 process, 156 Incising, 212 In-depth interview, usage, 82 Indian designs, colors (usage), 190 Individualism, importance, 42 Individualized Education Plan (IEP) following, 42 goals, awareness, 23 testing adaptations, 24 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 (IDEA/504) following, 42 goals, awareness, 23 Informal balance (asymmetrical balance), definition, 53 Ink, dry-brushing, 187 Intensity, definition, 49 Interdisciplinary project, 153 Interior design, 109 Inventions (art project), 74, 83 Irises. See Sunflowers and Irises project Irises (Van Gogh), 135 Irregular patterns, definition, 53 I Saw the Figure Five in Gold (Demuth), 263 Ishtar Gate, 226, 227f, 228f Islamic patterns, 105 Isolation, example, 54

J Jane-Avril (Toulouse-Lautrec), 281f Japanese Sumi-e project, 181–184 background information, 181 curriculum connections/language arts involvement, 183 preparation, 181–182 process, 182–183 Japanese Tea Bowl project, 211–214 curriculum connection, 213 preparation, 212 process, 212–213 social studies involvement, 213 Japanese woodcuts (art project), 72 Jeffries, Lee, 287 Johns, Jasper, 276 Jolly Flatboatmen, The (Bingham), 115f, 116 Journals art sketchbook/journal project, 90–91 personal nature journal project, 87–89 self-assessment, 61

K Kandinsky Inspired Design Project, 265–266 background information, 265 preparation, 265 process, 265–266 Kandinsky, Wassily, 266 Kelly, Ellsworth, 113 Kent, Darcy, 238 Kiln definition, 210 temperatures, 209 Kindergarten children art concepts, understanding, 8 characteristics, 7 materials, usage, 7–8 teaching suggestions, 8 Kirigami (Japan), 200 Klay Gun, usage, 208 Klee, Paul, 265


Koons, Jeff, 138 Kruger, Barbara, 263

L La Katrina (display), 195f Landscape collages/poetry project, 143–144 background information, 144 curriculum connection, 144 language arts involvement, 144 preparation, 144 process, 144 Lange, Dorothea, 289 Lankford, Louis, 171 Last Supper, The (da Vinci), 54 Late Classic Serape Blanket (Navajo), 272f Layers, usage, 265 Layout, design, 280 "Leaf" It to Me project, 132–134 background information, 132 curriculum connection, 134 group project, 134 preparation, 132–133 process, 133 science involvement, 134 younger student adaptation, 134 Leather hard, 216 definition, 210 Leaves, usage, 133 Legs, wings, claws, and antennas drawing project, 96–97 background information, 96 curriculum connections, 96–97 language arts involvement, 96–97 preparation, 96 process, 96 science involvement, 97 Leibowitz, Annie, 285 Le Lanceur De Couteaux (Matisse), 144 Leprechaun playgrounds, creation, 260 Lichtenstein, Roy, 63, 263, 276 Lidded Coil Pots project, 218–221 background information, 219

process, 219–221 Light, importance, 284 Linear perspective, definition/process, 50 Line, art element, 47–48, 48f Line drawing, hand position demonstration, 182 Loop tool, usage, 232 Lowercase letters, usage, 263 Lower elementary grades, Standards in Action Planning Sheet, 58 Lower grade levels, adaptations, 28 Luehrman, Mick, 85

M Magical Zebra, The (Cunningham), 1f Magritte, René, 138, 141 Mandala (Agrawal), 107f Mandala (Atkins), 106f Mandala drawing project, 106–108 background information, 106 preparation, 106–107 process, 107–108 Maquettes. See Tiny Maquette for a Gigantic Sculpture Project Markers, usage, 154 Martinez, Maria, 215 Mask (Eket), 223f Mask (Hazoumè), 223f Masks. See African Mask Design Project; African Slab Masks Project; Patriotic Masks Project project, purpose (provision), 248–249 Masonite, painting projection, 118 Mass, definition, 52 Masterpiece enlargement project, 115–119 alternatives, 118 background information, 116 curriculum connections, 119 preparation, 116 process, 116–117 science involvement, 119 younger student adaptation, 117


304 Index Materials, usage eighth graders, 22 fifth graders, 16–17 first graders, 9 fourth graders, 14–15 kindergartners, 7–8 second graders, 10–11 seventh graders, 20 sixth graders, 18–19 third graders, 12–13 Math problems quilt, 169 Matisse, Henri, 63, 108, 116, 144, 165 shape, usage, 46 Mats cutting, 40 purchased mats, personalization, 39 Max, Peter, 280 Maya’s Quilt of Life (Ringgold), 168 McConnell, Debbie, 168 McCurry, Steve, 287 M.C. Escher Digital Compositions Project, 267–270 assessment, 269–270 curriculum connection, 269 math involvement, 272 preparation, 267 process, 267–269 rubrics, 270 Measure and Make It Huge! Project, 250–252 preparation, 251 process, 251–252 Media, selection, 154 Me-In Action project alternative, 158 background information, 157 preparation, 157 process, 158 younger student adaptations, 159 Me–In Action project, 156–159 Mesa Verde Cliff Palace (art project), 70 Methods, example, 48 Mexican Geckos project, 231–233 background information, 232

preparation, 232 process, 232–233 Mexican Indian Art, impact, 159 Mexico, art contribution, 194 Middle elementary grades, Standards in Action Planning Sheet, 60 Middle ground, definition, 50 Middle school students, slip preparation, 219 Miró, Joan, 63, 265 Mistakes, usage, 86 Mix and match (trivia game), 78 Mixed media, 141 discussion, 138–139 Moats, definition, 148 Modeling definition, 49, 210 process, 51 Modified contour drawing, 100 Monet, Claude, 63 Monkeys on a Camel’s Back (Xiufang), 198f Mon-Kiri (Japan), 200 Monochromatic color scheme, 127 definition, 51 Moore, Henry, 245–247 Motor impairment, adaptations, 27 Mound Magician (Bailey), 150f Movement, design principles, 55, 55f Mucha, Alphonse, 280 Multicultural art, 175 traditional/non-traditional techniques, 175 Mural. See Ceramic Mural Project panels, 227 theme, discussion, 228 Mural (K-5 art students), 115 Museums aesthetic conversations, 77 visit, 76–77 visual thinking strategies, 76–77 Music. See Express the Music competition; Picture the Music project Muslin quilt, 169


My Hero project, 150–151 background information, 150 preparation, 151 process, 151 Mythical creatures, animal drawing project, 94

N National and State Core Art Standards, 35 National Art Education Association (NAEA), NCCAS (interaction), 57 National Coalition for Core Art Standards (NCCAS), 57 National Core Arts Standards, grade-level characteristics (alignment), 7 Native American Coiled Pottery Project, 214–218 alternative, 217 background information, 215 preparation, 215 process, 215–216 younger student adaptation, 216 Natural forms, examples, 52 Naturalist, becoming, 88–89 Natural light, usage, 33 Natural patterns, definition, 53 Natural shapes/forms, examples, 47 Navajo Rug/Blanket Designs Project, 271–272 background information, 271 curriculum connections, 272 preparation, 271 process, 271–272 social studies/language arts involvement, 272 Negative space, definition, 50, 52 Neuschwanstein (castle), 148 Neutral colors, example, 49 News releases, 32 Nichos (memory boxes), 196 Nickeson, Sandra, 170 Night Watch, The (Rembrandt), 145, 146f Nine Anemones (Nolde), 125 Nolde, Emil, 123 Non-traditional art techniques, 175 Nude, definition, 52

O Oaxacan Folk Art Animals Project, 252–255 background information, 253–254 preparation, 254 process, 254–255 younger student adaptations, 255 Oaxaca papier-mâché animals, drawings, 254f Offrenda altar, 195 Oil pastels, 101 enlargement, 118 resist, 123 O’Keeffe, Georgia, 63, 68, 102, 136, 152 Oldenburg, Claes, 250–251 Old Raccoon Dog in a Dense Grove of Bamboo (Okoku), 182f One-point perspective, 108, 110 One-word composition project, 264 Organic, definition, 47 Outdoor Murals (Barretts Students), 230f Ovens (hornos), usage, 193 Overlapping, definition, 50

P Packard, Linda, 116 Paint eighth grader usage, 22 fifth grader usage, 17 first grader usage, 9 fourth grader usage, 14 group work, 4 scratching, 127 seventh grader usage, 20 sixth grader usage, 18 tempera/acrylic paint, 111 third grader usage, 12, 13 Painted ceiling tiles (student collaboration), 118f Painting, 111. See Calligraphy, poetry, and painting bark painting, 179–180 color (Stella), 243 Palestinian Child (Lange), 289f Palmer, Marilyn, 45, 46


306 Index Panning, usage, 284 Papel picado (flags), 196, 197f, 200 Paper paper-strip Art Deco, paper strips (usage), 163 refolding, 278 usage. See Brushes, ink sticks, ink stones, and paper. Paper-Cuts project, 198–200 background information, 198–199 curriculum connections, 200 heirloom certificate, 200 kirigami/mon-kiri (Japan), 200 language arts, involvement, 200 math, involvement, 200 papel picado (Mexico), 200 process, 199–200 scherenschnitte (Germany/Switzerland), 199 silhouettes (France), 199 symmetry, 200 Papier-mâché snakes, creation, 255 Papier-mâché, usage, 248, 251 Parent communications, 32 Pastels, 101 oil pastels, 101 soft pastels, usage, 158 traditional pastels, 101 Patriotic Masks Project, 247–249 background information, 247–248 preparation, 248–249 process, 249 Pattern creation, 179 definition, 53, 55 design principles, 52–53, 52f Peaked roof, usage, 256 Peale, Rembrandt, 92 People cropping, 284 photographing, 284 People pots (art project), 70 Perseverance, 86 Personalized check, student design, 82

Personal nature journal project, 87–89 adaptation, 89 background information, 87 four-page booklet, copy paper (usage), 89f preparation, 88 process, 88–89 Personal rainbow color wheel project, 112–115 alternatives, 114 background information, 113 curriculum connections, 115 preparation, 113 process, 113–114 science involvement, 115 younger student adaptation, 114 Peto, John, 164 Petroglyphs (art project), 66 comparison, 190 Photograph/poem combination, 286–287 Photography, 282. See also Black-and-White Emotion Portrait Project; Digital photography; Texture Collage Photograph Project; Unusual-Angle Photograph Project Piasa Bird (image), 189f Piasa Bird project (Thunderbird project), 188–191 animals, types, 191 background information, 189 curriculum connection (social studies), 190 preparation, 189 process, 190 Picasso Faces Line Drawings (Palmer), 274f Picasso Faces Project, 273–275 curriculum connection, 275 process, 273–274 social studies involvement, 275 Picasso, Pablo, 63, 141, 144, 273 oil pastel, usage, 101 pattern, usage, 47 Pictorial Quilt (Powers), 167f Picture plane, definition, 50 Picture the Music project, 152–154 background information, 152–153 curriculum connection, 154


language arts involvement, 154 preparation, 153 process, 153 younger student adaptation, 154 Pigment, source (research), 127 Pinch pots, 206, 211 creation, 235 PIXLR software, usage, 262 Plaster of Paris, definition, 210 Plastic wrap/bubble wrap, 126 Poem bio-poem, 80 photograph, combination, 286–287 shape, 79 writing, 81, 185 Poetry. See Calligraphy, poetry, and painting; Landscape collages/poetry project collection, creation, 81–82 haiku poetry, 183 writing, 79–81 Polished pot with wax designs, 218f Pollock, Jackson, 80 Pop Art Action Word Project, 275–277 background information, 276 curriculum connection, 277 language arts involvement, 277 preparation, 276 process, 276–277 Pop Art Example (Lichtenstein), 277f Popeye (Lichtenstein), 276 Portfolios, initiation, 61 Portrait. See Black-and-White Emotion Portrait Project ancestry portraits, creation, 82 bust, definition, 52 definition, 52 Portrait of Dora Maar (Picasso), 273 Portrait of Sabartes (Picasso), 273 Positive shapes, definition, 50 Positive space, example, 52 Poster board, usage, 243 Posters. See Design a Poster Project development, 280

Pot (Lopez Quezada), 218f Pots. See Coil pots; Lidded Coil Pots project forming, actions, 216 Potter’s wheel, definition, 210 Pottery. See Native American Coiled Pottery Project Power of Music, The (Belt), 152f Powers, Harriet, 167, 168 Praise, usage, 43 Presenting, anchor standards, 57 Primary colors (pigment/light), 113, 114 examples, 49 Primary students, personal nature journal project adaptation, 89 PrintFoam, 72 cutting, 171 printing plates, usage, 172 Printing plate display, 164 Printing press, invention (art project), 70 Problem solving, fostering, 42 Project development, time allotment (allowance), 42 ideas, sources, 6–7 Prophet, The (Stella), 243f Public relations Facebook, usage, 32 importance, 32–33 news releases, 32 parent communications, 32 website, development, 32 Pueblo box villages, 193 Pueblo Roof Lines project, 192–193 alternative, 193 background information, 192–193 preparation, 193 process, 193 Purchased mats, personalization, 39 Pyramids (art project), 66

Q Quadrilateral symmetry, definition, 53 Quiet thinking time, usage, 43


308 Index Quilts. See Muslin quilt; Story quilt project blocks, 169–170 types, 169, 170

R Radial symmetry definition, 53 usage, 201 Radioactive Cats (Skoglund), 224, 226f Rainbow wave moving figure, 114 Raku, definition, 210 Raku Tea Bowl (Edo period), 214f Random pattern, definition, 53, 55 Rauschenberg, Robert, 263 Ray, Man, 141 Red Hill and White Shell (O’Keeffe), 102f Red tempera, usage, 187 Rehahn, 287 Relativity (Escher), 268f Rembrandt, 145 Remington, Frederick, 92 Repetition, emphasis, 264 Responding, anchor standards, 57 Responding mark, usage, 78 Revenge of the Goldfish (Skoglund), 224 Rhythm, definition, 53, 55 Ridge Meadows School, Rockwood School District, 3–4 Ringgold, Faith, 63, 116, 167 Rockefeller Center (Art Deco example), 164 Rodin, Auguste, 51 Rodrigue, George, 92 Room decoration project, 108–110 alternatives, 109 background information, 10108 computer graphics interior, 110 curriculum connection, 110 math, usage, 110 preparation, 108–109 process, 109 younger student adaptation, 109 Rooster (Vasquez), 253f

Rosenquist, James, 263 Rosetta Stone (art project), 66 Rothenberg, Susan, 92 Rothko, Mark, 80 Rousseau, Henri, 63, 83, 122–123 Rubens, Peter Paul, 92 Rubric, usage, 62 Rule of thirds, 103, 284 definition, 54 Ruler, usage (demonstration), 156, 256 Rules chart, development, 41

S Sachs, Linda, 3–4, 146, 155 Saint Louis Cardinal Fan (Packard), 259f Santa Clara Pueblo pot, 218f Scale drawing, creation, 82 Scherenschnitte (Germany/Switzerland), 199 School art exhibits, 33 Scoop tool, usage, 232 Scoring addition, 220 definition, 210 Scoring guide, 62 Scraper, definition, 210 Scrap-wood assemblage, 258–260 background information, 258 preparation, 258–259 process, 259–260 theme, usefulness, 258 younger student adaptations, 260 Scribble-drawing, 265 Sculpture, 237 shoulder-to-shoulder talk, 238 soft sculpture, 250 Sea salt, usage, 126 Seasons, themes, 84 Seated Woman 1938 (Picasso), 273 Seated Woman 1953 (Picasso), 275f Seating chart, usage, 41 Secondary color, 114 Second-grade children, 10–12


art concepts, understanding, 11 characteristics, 10 materials, usage, 10–11 teaching suggestions, 11–12 Seventh-grade students, 20–21 art concepts, understanding, 21 characteristics, 20 materials/technology, usage, 20 teaching suggestions, 21 Sgraffito, 212 definition, 210 Shade, definition, 49 Shading (modeling), process, 51 Shadows, drama, 285 Shallow, definition, 50 Shape art element, 46–47, 46f change, 82 drawing, 276 improvement, suggestion, 274 tool, usage, 276 Shiny Skin-Aluminum-Foil Bas Relief project preparation, 164 process, 164–165 Shiny Skin–Aluminum-Foil Bas Relief project, 161, 164–165 background information, 164 Shoulder-to-shoulder discussion/talk, 62, 238 Signing alphabet, drawing project, 99–101 Silhouettes (France), 199 Simultaneous contrast, definition, 56 Singer Sargent, John, 92, 123 Six-point star, 105 Sixth-grade students, 18–19 art concepts, understanding, 19 characteristics, 18 materials/technology, usage, 18–19 teaching suggestions, 19 Size, changes (example), 50 Sketchbooks art sketchbook/journal project, 90–91 self-assessment, 61

Sketchpad, usage, 262 Skoglund, Sandy, 165 224. See also Corner of a Room a La Sandy Skoglund Project Skulls, decoration, 196 Slab bottom, usage, 220 building, 206 projects, alternative, 229–231 construction, usage, 220 cups, 231 definition, 211 draped slabs, usage, 229, 230 sculpture, 229 Slab cup (Baker), 231f Slip, 212 definition, 211 mixing, 222 preparation, 219 Small object, domination (drawing project), 102–104 alternatives, 103 background information, 102 preparation, 102–103 process, 103 social studies preservation conversation, 104 Smoothing, demonstration, 220 Social/emotional needs adaptations, 24 Social studies preservation conversation, 104 Soft pastels, usage, 158 Soft sculpture, 250 Sorrow of the King, The (Matisse), 144 South American Indian Art, impact, 159 Space, art element, 49–50, 49f Space, illusion (process), 50 Special-needs students, art (modifications), 23–29 suggestions, 23–24 Spectrum II (Kelly), 113f Spero, Nancy, 290 Split-complement color scheme, 127 Sponge printing, 126


310 Index Spoonbridge and Cherry (Oldenburg), 250 Stage sets, 109 Stairway to Auvers (Van Gogh), 117 Standards in Action Planning Sheet, examples, 58–60 State quilt block, 170 Statue of Liberty (making), 248–249 Stella, Frank, 51, 243 Stewart, Marilyn, 58–60 Still life, color scheme, 127 Still life project, 165–166 background information, 165 preparation, 166 process, 166 Stippling, process, 51 Stock photos, usage, 269 Stone circles (art project), 66 Story quilt project, 167–170 curriculum connections, 169 language arts involvement, 169 preparation, 168 process, 168–169 science involvement, 170 social studies involvement, 170 younger student adaptations, 169 Storyteller doll (Whitefeather Studio), 236f Storyteller with Twenty Figures (Cordero), 234f Stream-of-consciousness writing, 140 Student artwork critique, 61–62 direct drawing, avoidance, 42 display, 39 formal critique, 62 matting, 39–40 rubric/scoring guide, 62 shoulder-to-shoulder discussion, 62 signage, 38 Students artistically gifted students, challenging, 29 autism spectrum, adaptations, 25 color, questions, 82 describer role, 78 developmental disabilities adaptations, 25

diary, creation, 82 drawing, teaching, 85 eighth-grade students, 21–23 fairness, 42 impaired hearing in-depth interview, usage, 82 journals, self-assessment, 61 notebooks, usage, 38 perseverance, 86 portfolios, initiation, 61 seventh-grade students, 20–21 sixth-grade students, 18–19 sketchbooks, self-assessment, 61 social/emotional needs, adaptations, 24 special-needs students, art (modifications), 23–29 teacher assessment, 61 teacher expectations, 36 teachers, relationships, 35 visually impaired students, adaptations, 26 work-in-progress, discussion, 61 Style, example, 48 Styrofoam, usage, 196 Subordinate, definition, 54 Subtractive clay building, 206 Sumi-e. See Japanese Sumi-e project Summer (Arcimboldo), 137f Summer Tea Bowl (Rengetsu), 213f Sunflowers (Zampier), 87f Sunflowers and Irises project, 134–137 alternatives, 136 background information, 134 botanical drawings, 136 curriculum connections, 136 language arts involvement, 137 preparation, 134–135 process, 135–136 science involvement, 136 younger student adaptation, 136 Sunflower seeds, planting, 136 Surrealism, student interest, 141 Surrealistic art. See Fantasy/surrealistic art project


Symmetrical balance, definition, 53 Symmetry. See Radial symmetry usage, 82, 200

T Tagboard box, usage, 255, 256 Tagboard house models, 257f Tagboard printing plate, usage, 161 Taos Pueblo (O’Keeffe), 192f Tea Bowl (Song Dynasty), 214f Tea bowls. See Japanese Tea Bowl project Teachers expectations, 36 students, relationships, 35 Teaching Artistic Behavior (TAB) (choice-based art education), 2–5 considerations, 5 Technology art classroom usage, 37 website development, 32 Technology, usage eighth graders, 22 seventh graders, 20 sixth graders, 18–19 Tempera paint, 111 black tempera resist, 123 red tempera, usage, 187 usage, 154 Tents (Kumar), 239f Tessellation art project, 74 definition, 53, 55 Tête D’une Femme Lisant (Picasso), 273 Textural materials, usage, 142 Texture art element, 47, 47f stamping, demonstration, 225 Texture Collage Example (Palmer), 291f Texture Collage Photograph Project, 289–291 assessment, 291 background information, 289–290 preparation, 290 process, 290–291

Third-grade children, 12–14 art concepts, understanding, 13 characteristics, 12 materials, usage, 12–13 teaching suggestions, 13–14 Three-dimensional, definition, 50 Three-dimensional form, 237 Three-dimensional geometric forms, making, 240 Three-dimensional shape, change, 82 Three perfections. See Calligraphy, poetry, and painting Three Perfections project, 185–188 background information, 185–186 preparation, 186–187 process, 187 subject matter, symbolism, 186 younger student adaptation, 188 Three Sunflowers (Arehart), 112f, 136 Throwing, definition, 211 Thumbnail pencil sketches, 139 Thunderbird project. See Piasa Bird project Tiger (Avernash), 122f Tint, definition, 49 Tiny Maquette for a Gigantic Sculpture Project, 245–247 preparation, 245 process, 247 Tipi (teepee), usage, 192 Tokonoma, 181 Tonal gradient, definition, 51 Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de, 280 shape, usage, 46 Traditional art techniques, 175 Traditional geometric blocks, 169 Traditional pastels, 101 Transform tool, usage, 269 Transportation quilt blocks, 170 Trees, outlines (drawing), 82 Trompe l’oeil still-life paintings, 165 Turner, Joseph Mallord William, 123 Turning, definition, 211


312 Index Tutankhamen (art project), 66 Two-dimensional, definition, 50 Two-dimensional project, alternation, 237 Two-dimensional shape, change, 82

U Underglaze availability, 234 definition, 211 Unicorn (Kennedy/Keaton/Dimmic), 239f Unicorn, drawing, 94 Untitled: Buy Me, I’ll Change Your Life (Kruger), 263 Untitled: Give Me All You’ve Got (Kruger), 263 Untitled: Use Only as Directed (Kruger), 263 Unusual-Angle Photograph Project, 284–287 assessment, 286 curriculum connection, 286 language arts involvement, 286 preparation, 285 process, 285 Uppercase letters, usage, 263 Upper elementary grades, Standards in Action Planning Sheet, 59

V Value art element, 50–51, 51f contrasting values, definition, 51 definition, 49 differences example, 50 process, 51 scale, definition, 51 Van Bruggen, Coosje, 250, 251 VanDerZee, James, 285 Van Gogh, Vincent, 63, 108, 116, 134–137 textural emphasis, 47 Vanishing point definition, 50 usage, 109

Variety definition, 56 design principles, 54–55, 55f display, methods, 55 emphasis, 264 Vector Fill, 262 Vertical location, definition, 50 Vierkant, Artie, 290 Viewpoint, consideration, 284 Violon et Verre (Picasso), 143 Vision impairment, adaptations, 26 Visual thinking strategies, 76–77 Vogelsang, Reese, 155 Volcano Attack (Compton), 143f Vuillard, Edouard, 108

W Walk in the Woods, A (artwork), 171f Walk in the Woods project, 170–173 alternative, 173 background information, 171 post-walk classroom activities, 172 preparation, 171 process, 172 senses, usage, 172 Walls, joining (demonstration), 225 Warhol, Andy, 263, 276, 280 Warm colors, examples, 49 Wash-and-line drawings, 187 Water (Arcimboldo), 138f Watercolor Chart (teacher example), 124f Watercolor chart project, 124–127 alternatives, 127 background information, 125 curriculum connection, 127 preparation, 125 process, 126–127 science involvement, 128 younger student adaptations, 127 Watercolors, 123 brushes, usage, 181


complementary colors, usage, 129 mixture, 158 paint, usage, 156 resist, 126 usage, 154, 181 Wax resist, definition, 211 Wearing Blankets (status symbol), 188 Weather report, predictions (writing), 82 Weaving techniques, familiarization, 204 Website, development, 32 Wedging (clay), 206, 212, 222, 225, 235 definition, 211 demonstration, 220, 232 Weeping Woman, The (Picasso), 273 Wesselman, Tom, 263 Weston, Edward, 285 Wet-in-wet, 126 Wet-on-wet, 187 painting, 129 Whaam Pow! (Lichtenstein), 276 White clay, usage, 234 Whole-brain development, 2 Wild Banana (Paige), 176f Wiley, Kehinde, 116 Winter camouflage, 121 Winter whites (far north/south animals) project, 119–121 background information, 120

curriculum connection, 121 preparation, 120 process, 120 science involvement, 121 Women Regents (Hals), 145 Wood, Grant, 116 Wood strips, usage, 227 Woven Pouches project, 203–204 background information, 203 preparation, 204 process, 204 Woven Yarn Pouch (Brimer), 203f WOW project, plan/design requirement, 238 Wycinanki (paper cutting), 198f Wycinanki (Poland), 200

X X-ACTO knife, usage, 26a

Y Younger students animal drawing project adaptation, 94 personal rainbow color wheel project, 114 room decoration project adaptation, 109

Z Zampier, A. Brian (artwork), 87f, 90f Zentangles, definition


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